Electronics and Semiconductors

CES 2019: Hyundai reveals walking car concept for first responders

09 January 2019

Hyundai has introduced a walking disaster relief vehicle at CES 2019, which can surmount terrain too difficult for traditional off-road vehicles.

The Hyundai Elevate Concept blends technology found in electric cars and robots, allowing it to reach locations that may be cut off from ground transportation in a flood, hurricane, earthquake or forest fire.

The Elevate concept is based on a modular electric vehicle platform with the ability to switch out different bodies for different situations. The robotic legs feature five degrees of freedom, plus a wheel hub capable of both mammalian and reptilian walking gaits so it can move in any direction. The legs fold up and stow away in traditional driving mode and an integrated passive suspension system maximizes battery efficiency.

Hyundai said this allows the concept vehicle to both drive at highway speeds and deploy legs to climb over a 5 ft wall or step over a 5 ft gap. Elevate can achieve a 15 ft wide track width while keeping the passengers level.

"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," said John Suh, Hyundai vice president and head of Hyundai Cradle. "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 — the possibilities are limitless."

Click here to check out Electronics360’s full coverage of CES 2019.

To contact the author of this article, email PBrown@globalspec.com

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