Hyundai is working together with engineering firm Autodesk to design and create “Elevate,” the first Ultimate Mobility Vehicle (UMV).
The UMV was first shown last year at CES, and represents Hyundai’s ongoing efforts to innovate beyond basic car designs. The company is working with Uber to create aerial ridesharing vehicles and is increasing its investment in electric vehicles.
The Elevate platform is designed to combine automobile and robotics technology to create a vehicle that can go where no traditional vehicle can. The Elevate can drive on standard roads, or elevate itself on robotic arms for walking and climbing.
Elevate is aimed at addressing a wide array of situations where traditional vehicles fall short, such as search and rescue, exploration, transport on uneven ground and transportation for mobility impaired individuals.
“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,” said John Suh, Hyundai vice president and head of Hyundai CRADLE. “This technology goes well beyond emergency situations – people living with disabilities worldwide that don’t have access to an ADA ramp could hail an autonomous Hyundai Elevate that could walk up to their front door, level itself, and allow their wheelchair to roll right in – the possibilities are limitless.”
Hyundai created New Horizons Studio in Silicon Valley to develop the UMV, and has partnered with Autodesk to make the concept a reality.
“More than 10 years ago, we identified the pain points, rework required and loss of valuable information when projects move from one phase to the next and the associated files don’t play nicely in the heterogenous environments organizations so often use,” says Srinath Jonnalagadda, vice president of design and manufacturing at Autodesk. “Creating a design and engineering platform that helps remove those hurdles, while also putting advanced capabilities such as generative design tools at the fingertips of designers, has been our North Star for a decade. The Elevate project is a showcase of how leaders like Hyundai can now enjoy the fruits of that vision.”
While it may look like something straight out of science fiction, it’s unique abilities will likely make it a hit with its target market.