We’re not sure a walking vehicle has much application in the car rental market, but it could be an essential tool for emergency teams of the future.
CES (the Consumer Electronics Show) has a long and impressive track record in demonstrating the weird, wonderful and occasionally bonkers extremes of technology design. Sometimes, there seems little point to the ingenuity on display. And sometimes, even the most on the face of it ‘out there’ concepts and can have important real world application.
Take the Hyundai Elevate, a ‘walking car’ teased at CES 2019 in Las Vegas which, the company says, can climb a 5ft wall or jump a 5ft gap.
Now, you might wonder what the point of that is. Wheels, it’s fair to say, have made a pretty good case for their use on cars up to now. But there are times when wheels won’t take you where you need to go. In a disaster zone, for example, where a debris field may stretch for miles, traditional wheeled vehicles will only realistically be able to take you to the edge of the disaster, when what’s needed is a vehicle that can navigate a way through it.
That’s the ambition of the Elevate, a car which the BBC reports has been designed to take drivers “beyond the range of wheels”.
“Elevate can drive to the scene and climb right over flood debris or crumbled concrete,” Hyundai vice-president John Suh told reporters, as he revealed a small model of the car which has been three years in the making.
The car won’t necessarily make it into production, but it’s through exercises like this that car manufactures explore what’s possible, and what the future of mobility will look like. So in years to come, whilst you may not see this car in action, you may see something like it having an impact on the regular buying, leasing and vehicle hire markets of the future.
Talk to us about hire vehicles that can help keep you moving (in the usual wheeled way).