Yes, that's exactly what Hyundai has proposed with its Elevate concept unveiled Tuesday at the 2019 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. "Could you help someone elevate to a front door when they can't get out of their front door if it's someone with disabilities in a wheel chair and they don't have a ramp?"
Built on a modular vehicle chassis, Elevate vehicles can swap out robotic attachments for different situations, like a auto stuck in a snow ditch climbing its way back up to the road.
It can move in any direction, walk at different speeds, and the legs can be stowed if the driver wants to leave the disaster zone and take on a normal flat road. Elevate is the first Ultimate Mobility Vehicle (UMV), blending technology found in electric cars and robots, which allows it to traverse terrain beyond the limitations of even the most capable off-road vehicle.
Legs can also be folded away, allowing the vehicle to drive like any other auto on the road.
This, as the automaker points out, makes the concept well suited to first responders in emergency situations.
Hyundai says that the Elevate can drive at highway speeds like a conventional vehicle.
But while Hyundai's concept is moving forward, it's unlikely to be appearing at a local dealership any time soon. When required it has the capability to climb over a five foot tall wall, step over a five foot gap, and achieve a 15 foot wide track width.
Elevate can even walk in different styles: mammalian or reptilian style gaits. "This technology goes well beyond emergency situations", John Suh, Hyundai vice president and head of Hyundai CRADLE, explained in a release.
"Imagine a vehicle stranded in a snow ditch just 10 feet off the highway being able to walk or climb over the treacherous terrain, back to the road potentially saving its injured passengers - this is the future of vehicular mobility".
And it's not just disaster zones, the vehicle makers hope to also help people living with disabilities that don't have access to ramps, they could use the auto as a taxi that could walk up to their front door, level itself, and allow their wheelchair to roll right in.
Hyundai has been working with Michigan-based industrial design firm Sundberg-Ferar on the project for three years, but has not yet built a full-size working prototype, so it is likely still years away from possibly entering production. "The possibilities are limitless".
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