Hyundai unveils concept for 'walking car' on legs

Published: January 09, 2019 13:15:27 | Updated: January 12, 2019 13:54:47

Hyundai Motors has unveiled the concept for 'walking car' on legs, a small model of a car it says can activate robotic legs to walk at 3mph (5km/h) over rough terrain, at the CES technology fair in Las Vegas.

The South Korean automotive manufacturer showed off the concept which has been in development for three years, reports BBC.

The car is also able to climb a 5ft (1.5m) wall and jump a 5ft gap, the Hyundai Elevate could be useful for emergency rescues following natural disasters, the company said.

It was part of a project exploring "beyond the range of wheels", the company added.

John Suh, the vice-president of Hyundai, said, "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," Suh said.

He also suggested that wheelchair users could be collected via the vehicles, which could "walk" up to the front door of a building with step-only access.

Prof David Bailey, from Aston Business School, said, "Often car companies bring out lots of concepts which may or may not make it into production but it's great to think in new ways about mobility.

"For most of us, it's going to be wheels and roads but in extreme situations there may be scope for this sort of thing.

"There may well be applications in terms of emergency services - but there are very big technological challenges to make this sort of thing."

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