Hyundai introduced its latest concept car at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas this week. The Hyundai Elevate would be able to walk, climb a 5-foot wall and even jump a 5-foot gap, as well as driving at normal motorway speeds.

Elevate is the result of three years’ development and Hyundai has described it as the world’s first Ultimate Mobility Vehicle (UMV) due to its unique movement capabilities. Its design gives it the ability to move in any direction and when ‘walking’ can use both mammalian and reptilian gaits.

 Elevate is a project from Hyundai’s Center for Robotic-Augmented Design in Living Experiences (CRADLE). Its ability to move across rough terrain that even off-road vehicles aren’t capable of tacking means that Elevate could be useful for rescuing the victims of natural disasters.

 John Suh, Hyundai’s vice-president and Head of Hyundai CRADLE, 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.”

Hyundai has described the concept as “the future of [the] first responder industry”. This is not the only use that Hyundai envisages for Elevate, however. Suh also described how the vehicle would be able to move into position at the front doors of people living with disabilities and allow a wheelchair to roll right on board without the need for a ramp. He added that “the possibilities are limitless”.

 Design manager at Sundberg Ferar, David Byron, said: “By combining the power of robotics with Hyundai’s latest EV technology, Elevate has the ability to take people where no car has been before, and redefine our perception of vehicular freedom.” He added: “This is the future of vehicular mobility.”

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