Past Is Prelude

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, the Galactic Empire unleashed a deadly weapon in their battle to destroy rebel forces. The All Terrain Armored Transport (AT-AT walker) appeared to be invincible. Fortunately for their civilization, the rebels used gallantry and deviousness to prevail against the lumbering tanks.

Last year, here on Earth, Hyundai introduced its “Elevate” concept vehicle at the Consumer Electronics (CES) technology show in Las Vegas. With wheels at the ends of articulated legs, the walking car can negotiate uneven terrain, climb a five-foot wall, step over a five-foot crevice and spread its legs to a fifteen-foot wide width, while keeping its main cabin (and passengers) level.

Hyundai sees the Elevate being used for rescues in earthquakes and other natural disasters. It could transport disabled persons by walking up to the front door, leveling itself, and rolling in a wheelchair. The legs can fold up so the vehicle can travel at highway speeds.

Hyundai has put together a joint venture between Ultimate Mobility Vehicles Studio in Silicon Valley California and design firm Sundberg-Ferar, based in Detroit. Sundberg-Ferar has some experience in transportation projects. They designed the Bay Area BART train system.

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