Hyundai is bringing a very strange car to the 2019 Consumer Electronics Show this month.
We’ve seen flying cars, hover cars, electric trucks, and even a steam-powered Jeep. Cars with more tires than they need? They’re a dime a dozen. But a car with legs? That’s something new, and Hyundai is the automotive company that’s bringing it to this year’s CES in Las Vegas.
CES has taken a lot of the shine from the Detroit Auto Show by showcasing the weird and wonderful in the automotive world. Why would we be impressed with the latest family sedan from GM when we could see a walking car from Hyundai?
And indeed, that appears to be what we’re going to get. The teaser image provided by Hyundai provides few details, but it seems to show a car with four spindly legs with tires on the end. Each wheel can turn independently, and combined with the fact that each leg can extend and contract to keep the car level on almost any type of terrain, and this concept might just be the ultimate off-road vehicle.
Hyundai calls it the “Elevate” walking car concept. It’s part of the company’s Ultimate Mobility Vehicle (UMV) program to take four wheels where they’ve never gone before. The imagery of this render seems to indicate the Elevate concept is ideal for disaster response as it can clamber over the rubble of collapsed buildings to provide emergency medical response after an earthquake--something that would have been very helpful this year in particular.
It certainly looks like a futuristic vehicle, but we can’t help but think it looks a bit like if a gondola sprouted wheel-covered legs and decided to walk away.
Hyundai says the Elevate can walk, drive, or even climb when necessary. That all seems very optimistic. It’s also entirely electric-powered, combining the technology of EVs and robotics into a single vehicle.
We’ll find out more when the Elevate takes a bow (maybe even literally) at Hyundai’s press conference on January 7th at 3 PM at the Mandalay Bay South Convention Center.