Hyundai’s New Car Has Legs. Literally.
We’ve all read the studies—or heard our doctors’ diatribes—telling us to stop sitting all day, stand up, and start walking around. The movement has been going on for years. But for the first time, it appears as if the benefits of walking has trickled down from humans to cars.
At CES Monday, Hyundai introduced Americans to the Elevate, a walking concept vehicle with four robotic, bendable legs and a look made for the movies. (If Transformers director Michael Bay had a “meltdown” over a teleprompter issue at CES in 2014, we wonder what his reaction would have been to these puppies.)
Although Hyundai didn’t present a full-scale prototype, the mock-up design of the Elevate as well as its intended purpose to rapidly respond to natural disasters and humanitarian crises are impressive.
“When a tsunami or earthquake hits, current rescue vehicles can only deliver first responders to the edge of the debris field. They have to go the rest of the way by foot. Elevate can drive to the scene and climb right over flood debris or crumbled concrete,” John Suh, Vice President and Head of Hyundai CRADLE, said in a press release.
“This technology goes well beyond emergency situations. People living with disabilities worldwide that don’t have access to an ADA ramp could hail an autonomous Hyundai Elevate that could walk up to their front door, level itself, and allow their wheelchair to roll right in,” Suh continued. “The possibilities are limitless.”
Hyundai is known for innovation. In December, the auto giant premiered a vehicle that lets drivers use fingerprints instead of keys to open, lock, and drive their car.
Although the car company didn’t break the top ten in research service IFI Claims’ list of companies that filed the most patents in 2018—unlike its competitor Ford Motor Co.—Hyundai certainly wasn’t slacking. The company came in 19th after filing 1,369 patents last year, topping No. 27 General Motors, which filed 1,046.