The CES consumer tech show in Las Vegas has a name for producing surprises. While many would not look out of place in a Luke Skywalker movie, the model Hyundai walking car takes the cake this year. “Bet there’s a lithium battery inside it somewhere,” a visitor told his mate. “In the belly of the beast most likely,” the other laughed.
Is the Hyundai Walking Car Concept for Real?
It’s only a model of an idea at this stage, although Hyundai is in deadly earnest they told the BBC at a media conference. The ‘Elevate’ as they call it is far from being an executive’s toy. This is because it could go where no rescue vehicle ever went before.
The model is quite athletic. It can maintain a 3 mph speed over rough terrain, climb a 5 ft wall, and leap across a 5 ft gap. Therefore, the Hyundai walking car concept has potential for emergency rescues during natural disasters. The walker is apparently part of a ‘beyond the range of wheels” project. That sound you heard was our mind wondering what Hyundai will come up with next.
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Hyundai vice-president John Sub was on point when he unveiled his walking car at the 2019 CES. “When a tsunami or earthquake hits, current rescue vehicles can only deliver first responders to the edge of the debris field,” he explained.
“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.” Moreover, it would politely lower itself to accommodate wheelchair users. However, Prof Bailey from the Aston Business School was less convinced by the Hyundai walking car concept.
He told the BBC reporter, “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”. We are confident they said something similar about the first batteries.
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