Hyundai Unveils Concept for ‘Walking Car’ on Legs

January 7, 2019 Updated: January 8, 2019

It looks like a cross between an insect and a space ship, walking across the surface of a distant planet.

Hyundai is unveiling their revolutionary new vehicle concept ‘Elevate’ through an animated video on stage at CES in Las Vegas.

David Byron is the Industrial Design Manager at Sundberg-Ferar, the company that’s  been working on the Elevate concept with Hyundai for almost three years, calls it the Ultimate Mobility Vehicle.

“A vehicle with legs could drive first responders to a location like any traditional vehicle, but then walk or climb over treacherous terrain to directly reach the injured or stranded like you just saw in the video,” he explains.

With its long, robotic legs the Elevate is designed to drive, walk or climb the most treacherous terrain, which normal vehicles can’t access.

“The legs here have five degrees of freedom, two in the hip, one in the knee, two in the ankle and an in-wheel propulsion motor,” adds Byron.

He then demonstrates the vehicle’s ability to walk in reptilian or mammalian mode.

“What you’re seeing here is it moving in a reptilian mode, which is the most stable for off road conditions. But the hip joint design allows it to rotate into mammalian if you want to walk faster or more efficiently in a linear direction.”

The vehicle utilises an electric power train alongside advanced robotic systems. It has been especially adapted for emergency response

John Suh, Vice President of Hyundai CRADLE has incredibly ambitious plans for the vehicle:

“I like to imagine that one day we’ll send crewed missions to the moon or Mars and when that day happens the ‘Elevate’ will be a fantastic way to send a whole new generation of explorers to do science and discover those places,” he says.