Hyundai is turning its walking car concept into reality

Ultimate Mobility Vehicles, revealed in 2020 and 2021, were concepts looking pretty far from becoming real. Now Hyundai has invested 20 millions to design and manufacture them.

By Andrea Nepori

Founded in 2020, New Horizons Studio is a division of Hyundai Motor Group tasked with designing futuristic mobility projects. Since its inception, the Studio has attracted widespread attention thanks to its Ultimate Mobility Vehicles (UMVs) concepts, such as the Hyundai Elevate. UMVs, in Hyundai’s vision, are vehicles capable of driving on any off-road terrain, either conducted by a human crew or unmanned. Think space rovers, but for the harshest off-road conditions on Earth.

The UMVs employ a combination of robotics and advanced locomotion technology to achieve the goal. The Elevate, for example, is a concept vehicle that can cross any rocky or rough area thanks to 4 electric wheels attached to extendable robotic “legs.” New Horizons Studio’s concepts seemed mostly a design exercise to explore the future of off-road mobility. Instead, with a surprising announcement, Hyundai has decided to fund the Studio with a $20 million investment over the next five years to try and manufacture its UMVs. The funds will go towards a new Research, Development, and Lab Center located within the Montana State University’s Innovation Campus in Bozeman, Montana. According to Hyundai’s estimate, the new facility will employ about 50 people.

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Continental’s Robot Truck Can Perform 100,000 Tire Tests a Year

This crazy-looking, six-wheeled thing is intended to simulate road car braking.

BY HAZEL SOUTHWELL

Tires are going to be a big conversation in the near future of automotive. Of course, we’ve always known that they matter, but tires are set to be one of the main issues in pollutant and performance terms for how cars are legislated about and built going forwards. As cars get bigger and heavier, the demands on tires do too, so Continental has built a crazy-looking robot truck to run hundreds of thousands of braking simulations per year.

The vehicle is called AVA, which in an incredibly German move (the test facility is in Hanover) stands for another acronym: Analytic Vehicle AIBA. AIBA means Automated Indoor Braking Analyzer, which is technically more where the automated test vehicle works rather than talking about it.

Continental has built a pretty sweet test track that can be laid with different road surfaces and even made wet or dry, that AVA then runs on to simulate braking and test the tires.

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Airless tyres could be a reality this decade

An upcoming electric car from one of the world’s biggest manufacturers could launch with puncture-proof tyres. 

By William Davis

Airless tyres could be rolling out onto public roads before the end of this decade, according to a Michelin executive. 

The concept of punctureless rubber has been around since the first motorists were confronted with the inconvenience of flats. However, a safe, durable, and cost effective example has never gone into mass-production. 

The world’s biggest tyre maker now claims that’s all about the change, revealing US automotive giant General Motors is looking to offer an electric car fitted from the factory with its non-pneumatic spinners. 

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In-car biometrics recognize drivers, monitor vitals, detect left-behind children

By Frank Hersey

Developments in automotive biometrics from automakers and specialist systems providers continue to bring new functions to car journeys. While many improve driving safety, automotive systems can now detect whether a driver is from a car’s approved list based on facial recognition and can detect children left behind in a vehicle, even if wrapped in a blanket out of sight. Cerence is rolling out new technologies for driver convenience and personalization.

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Hyundai has developed go-to-market technology to make vehicles move like crabs

2021 Hyundai Mobis Corner e-Module concept vehicle can turn 90 degrees to aid parking in tight spaces.Hyundai Mobis

by Pritesh Ruthun

  • In-wheel technology to reduce turning circle in congested environments.
  • Silent, electric technology will ensure use in areas with tight emissions controls.
  • Ideal for city distribution vehicles and small custom truck makers to consider.

Hyundai Mobis, the engineering wing of the South Korean automotive conglomerate, has announced that it’s developed an all-in-one technology that incorporates steering systems, braking components, suspension capability and driving systems into a wheel.

Called the Corner e-Module and said to go into production for concept vehicles in the next four years; the technology will be helpful in congested cities where streetside parking can be a nightmare.

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Hydrogen-powered truck set for launch in Australia

Australian hydrogen vehicle manufacturer H2X will unveil the Warrego, a fuel cell electric hybrid pickup truck, in November.

By  BELLA PEACOCK

H2X Global plans to launch its new Warrego pickup truck in Australia’s Gold Coast region, and is already taking orders for the vehicle.

The company says the vehicle features a 200 kW motor system, 66 kW and optional 90 kW fuel cell systems, and 60 kW to 100 kW energy storage systems between its battery and super capacitor units. The Warrego has a 500 km driving range and a refueling time of between three and five minutes. 

With its hybrid system, H2X says the vehicle can on pure hydrogen, “drastically” reducing refueling time, while increasing driving range and hydrogen efficiency.

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Mazda Is Working on a New Hydrogen Rotary Engine: Report

Remember the RX-8 Hydrogen RE? Probably not, but it’s proof that Mazda has done this before.

BY CHRIS TSUI

While most of the automotive world pivots toward battery-electric, Mazda is apparently following in part-owner Toyota’s footsteps in betting on hydrogen. What’s more, the Hiroshima automaker is said to be pairing the niche energy tech with another niche propulsion method: the rotary. If a new report from Japan’s Best Car Web is to be believed, Mazda is currently working on a hydrogen rotary engine, that is, a rotary engine that runs on hydrogen instead of gasoline. 

Decrypted via Google Translate, “Although it is a small scale, development has progressed. As the world has suddenly turned to decarbonization, the view that ‘hydrogen rotary is an important technology’ is rapidly expanding,” a Mazda official reportedly told the publication. 

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Every Car Made After 2027 May Have Drunk Driving Monitoring System

The bipartisan infrastructure bill has a provision that mandates the unproven technology be incorporated into all passenger vehicles within the decade.

By Aaron Gordon

Buried deep in the 2,700-page bipartisan infrastructure billis a provision that mandates all cars manufactured from 2027 onwards be equipped with a drunk driver monitoring system, in the hopes of ending a behavior that results in about 10,000 deaths in the U.S. every year. If passed with this provision, the bill would give a firm release date to a research program the federal government and an automotive industry group have collaborated on for more than a decade.

Since 2008, an alphabet soup of acronym organizations have been working on a public-private partnership to invent a new technology that can prevent drunk driving. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) partnered with the Automotive Coalition for Traffic Safety (ACTS), an industry group representing all the major automakers, to form the Driver Alcohol Detection System for Safety Program, which goes by the unfortunate acronym of DADSS. 

DADSS is working on two separate detection systems. One detects blood alcohol levels in a driver’s breath through ambient air in the car cabin, supposedly distinguishing the driver’s breath from that of any passengers. The other uses a touch sensor with infrared lights that can be incorporated into the push-start engine button to detect blood alcohol level through the skin. Both are designed to be passive monitoring systems, meaning the driver doesn’t have to do anything to be tested. If, in theory, the system detects a blood alcohol level above the legal limit, the car will not be allowed to drive, but can remain on to power the climate control or charge a phone. The technology will be open-source licensed, so any auto supplier or manufacturer can use it “on the same terms,” although it won’t be free.

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Self-healing materials to shape the cars of the future

Self-healing materials could revolutionise both vehicles and road surfaces

Ben Smye explores the current trends in self-healing materials research, and where they might take the automotive industry in the coming years

It sounds like something out of a science fiction film, but the idea of a self-healing car might not be as wild and futuristic as it seems. Though machines that can fix themselves remain a long way off, materials engineers have been developing technology that could soon make this fiction a reality.

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The Netflix generation won’t want to own cars – here’s how the auto industry can adapt

Younger consumers are drawn to the convenience of subscription services and will want the same model for using cars, Dr Andy Palmer argues. 

By Nick David and Dr. Andy Palmer 

A quick look at your bank statements will most likely reveal a consistent theme in each month’s transactions: payments to 

A generation of consumers, and I’m one of them, have become addicted to subscription services.

Simple and no-strings-attached, subscription services seem to exist for every possible product out there. And now cars are joining the subscription surge.

 The auto industry has experienced significant upheaval over the past decade.

Auto executives have dedicated most of their time and attention to adapting the physical and technical make-up of the cars they produce, such as shepherding from internal combustion engines to hybrid or electric in response to a more climate conscious market.

However, changing consumer attitudes are fuelling another major shift for the industry to contend with – and automotive executives are slowly waking up to it.

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Hyundai is working on a driverless car that can also turn into a ‘walking machine’

By Anmar Frangoul

  • As tech develops and consumer habits change, the sight of unmanned vehicles could become commonplace in both urban and rural locations. 
  • Drones have already been used to deliver medication to remote spots, for example. 

The Hyundai Motor Group has released details of a concept vehicle designed to function as both a four-wheel-drive car and a “four-legged walking machine,” in the latest example of how ideas on mobility and logistics are changing.

According to a statement from the South Korean automotive giant Wednesday, the vehicle — known as TIGER, or transforming intelligent ground excursion robot — has been designed to operate without a crew and in “extreme, remote locations.”

A team from Hyundai’s California-based New Horizons Studio has been working alongside U.S. firms Autodesk and Sundberg-Ferar on the project’s development.

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There aren’t enough computer chips to power modern cars

A lack of computer chips means that car companies have not been able to meet production demand.Image: REUTERS/Andreas Gebert 

Sean Fleming Senior Writer, Formative Content

  • Global car sales fell in 2020.
  • A shortage of computer chips is compounding poor sales by holding up production.
  • That could cost the industry $60 billion.

Besides reeling from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the motor sector now faces another major challenge – it can’t get all the computer chips it needs.

Modern cars are reliant on technology. There’s software that monitors engine performance and emissions, cruise-control that automatically adjusts to keep pace with the speed of the vehicle in front, alarms that are triggered by straying out of lane – not to mention bluetooth connectivity, parking sensors, keyless entry and a host of safety features.

And that’s just in a conventional car. Self-driving and semi-autonomous cars are even more tech-laden.

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