Hyundai is working on a driverless car that is also a “walking machine”.


Drew Angerer | Getty Images News | Getty Images

The Hyundai Motor Group has released details of a concept vehicle that will function as both a four-wheel drive and a “four-legged walking machine”. This is the latest example of how ideas about mobility and logistics are changing.

According to a statement by South Korean auto giant Wednesday, the vehicle – known as the TIGER, or transforming intelligent ground excursion robot – was designed to operate without a crew and in “extremely remote locations.”

A team from Hyundai’s New Horizons Studio in California worked with US companies Autodesk and Sundberg-Ferar to develop the project.

In the real world, TIGER is designed to handle tasks such as delivering items and distributing emergency kits.

When the vehicle has to traverse difficult terrain that is not conducive to wheeled transportation or gets stuck, its “walking ability” can be used to correct the situation so that the journey can continue.

As technology evolves and consumer habits change, the sight of unmanned vehicles carrying cargo could become commonplace in both urban and rural areas.

Drones have been used to deliver medicines to remote locations, while companies like Starship Technologies specialize in self-driving robots that deliver take-away and other items.

In other countries, companies like Lilium are working on vertical take-off taxis to take passengers between cities.

Hyundai’s development of the TIGER vehicle is the latest entry into technologies and systems geared towards the future of mobility.

The company had already announced in December that it would acquire a majority stake in Boston Dynamics from SoftBank. The Massachusetts-based company was valued at $ 1.1 billion. The deal is expected to close in June this year.

Boston Dynamics specializes in the development of so-called “mobile robots”. This includes the four-legged spot, which can take on a number of tasks.

Last year, for example, the world’s leading architectural firm, Foster + Partners, said they used Spot to collect data from a construction site and map a digital twin of their office space.