July 13, 2023
Hyundai has received two patents for its walking car concept in the U.S.
According to the United States Patent and Trademark Office, the automaker received approval for the patent applications in July, about a year and a half after the applications were initially filed.
The company’s four-legged electric “walking car” concept, dubbed Elevate, was first unveiled in 2019, designed to drive as usual over flat terrains, and transitioning to walk on robotic legs over uneven or hazardous environments.
According to the company, the design could be instrumental in disaster relief, exploration and construction scenarios. It could also potentially help improve transportation accessibility, walking up to a front door to allow wheelchair users a more seamless route into the car.
“People living with disabilities worldwide could hail a Hyundai Elevate that could walk up to their front door and allow their wheelchair to roll right in,” said John Suh, Hyundai New Horizons’ founding director.
The new patents evidence Hyundai’s intention to commercialize the technology, and imply these walking cars could be among us sooner than we think.
In 2021, Hyundai also unveiled its concept car, Transforming Intelligent Ground Excursion Robot (TIGER), which is similar in design to Elevate but is unmanned and will not carry passengers.
“Vehicles like TIGER, and the technologies underpinning it, give us an opportunity to push our imaginations,” said Suh. “We are constantly looking at ways to rethink vehicle design and development and redefine the future of transportation and mobility.”
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