Take a look at the newest concept for how we travel. South Korean automotive company Hyundai is collaborating with several developers and investors to create an electric car with robotic legs. The concept is changing how we think of transportation. But, why are robotic legs being put on vehicles? Hyundai explains how there are several concepts with different purposes.

Ultimate Mobility Vehicle

Hyundai walking car concept
Hyundai’s Elevate is a walking car with legs; Photo: Hyundai

Ultimate Mobility Vehicles (UMVs) have four robotic legs with wheels attached. One of the UMV concepts from Hyundai is called Elevate. According to the company, the cars can walk on their legs, drive, and handle rough terrain if needed. Elevate’s robotic legs are inspired by grasshopper legs that have “complex multi-joint legs.” These legs allow the car to climb stairs, lift itself above water or even jump over gaps. Hyundai executives believe this helps individuals who may struggle to get around, including those who are wheelchair-bound or have other disabilities.

Vice President of Hyundai John Suh said, “People living with disabilities worldwide could hail Hyundai Elevate that could walk up to their front door and allow their wheelchair to roll right in.”

Hyundai's elevate
Hyundai’s Elevate could help with disaster relief; Photo: Hyundai


Hyundai says the capabilities don’t stop there. They said, “Elevate could play a role in rural exploration, construction, or even disaster relief, by allowing rescue teams to reach areas where traditional roads have been compromised.” The company has a vision of “freedom of mobility” and they believe Elevate fits the bill.

H-MEX Exoskeletons

Hyundai goes out of their element when it comes to the freedom of mobility. For those facing basic physical mobility challenges, they introduce the H-MEX exoskeleton, which goes beyond the road. H-MEX exoskeletons aim to help people suffering from spinal injuries or muscle issues. The wearable robotic medical device holds up almost 90 pounds of a user’s weight, providing potential solutions for people with mobility issues. Hyundai believes freedom of mobility should be a universal right.

Transforming Travel

With Elevate and other concepts that offer freedom of mobility, Hyundai is transforming travel. People may recognize Elevate from the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2024 or the original concept introduced at CES 2019. The company and their leaders say everyone will always travel but how they do it is constantly evolving.

elevate prototype
Prototype of Hyundai’s Elevate at CES 2019; Photo: Hyundai

Hyundai’s Elevate project spokesperson Mr. Chi said, “People will prefer more diverse and practical mobility solutions than just buying a car, so we must actively develop transportation solutions for the future, not the past.”