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Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 18 January 2019

Meet Hyundai's walking car: where we're going, we don't need roads

Part off-roader, part-Transformer, the Elevate is one of the highlights of the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas

A rendering of the Hyundai Elevate walking car concept. Hyundai
A rendering of the Hyundai Elevate walking car concept. Hyundai

If we learnt anything from the Terminator movie franchise, it's that we're all going to die horrible deaths at the hands of mechandroids on legs, a future that seems somehow curiously closer with the launch of Hyundai's Elevate, a walking car concept revealed this week at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

Slightly ominously dubbed an "Ultimate Mobility Vehicle" – with the absolutely not-catchy acronym UMV – the Elevate blends robot and electric-car tech to allow it to traverse territory usually beyond the capabilities of regular off-road vehicles.

With its four wheels attached to extendable robotic legs, the vehicle can drive, walk or climb over obstacles, and has been primarily designed to provide fast and efficient disaster assistance, as well as transport for people of determination – rather than become sentient and end humanity as we know it. Phew.

The version on display at CES is a working scale model, as seen above, but if the concept is brought to full-sized realisation, it will be able to climb over obstacles 1.5 metres tall and stride across gaps 1.5 metres wide.

The Hyundai Elevate walking car concept. Hyundai
One of the projected uses of the Hyundai Elevate. Hyundai

CES has for several years now begun to usurp traditional motor shows as the unveiling venue of choice for many carmakers' latest innovations.

Last January, The National reported live from Las Vegas on the debate on the future of motoring, heard since-arrested, former Nissan car chief Carlos Ghosn make predictions that didn't include foreseeing his current predicament and looked at the biggest obstacles facing the development of driverless cars.

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Latest from The National's Motoring section

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Updated: January 10, 2019 05:20 PM

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