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Hyundai brings walking cars a step closer to reality

A second design is described as an uncrewed transforming intelligent ground excursion robot designed to carry various types of payloads while traveling over treacherous terrain.

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The Hyundai Elevate demonstrates its mammalian walking gaits. (Hyundai via SWNS)

Dean Murray via SWNS

A vehicle manufacturer’s walking car designs are a step closer to reality with the planned opening of a $20m development center.

Hyundai’s New Horizon Studio (NHS) say their mission is to build vehicles for future customers who want or need to travel over terrains which are challenging for conventional ground vehicles.

The unit will focus on the development of Ultimate Mobility Vehicles (UMVs), at a new Research, Development and Lab Center in Bozeman, Montana.

The South Korean firm previously showcased designs for UMVs at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in 2019. The Elevate concept, seen at CES, will inspire a larger (size of a two-person ATV) vehicle with robotic legs that can address challenging driving situations and potentially save lives as the first responder in natural disasters.

A second design is described as an uncrewed transforming intelligent ground excursion robot designed to carry various types of payloads while traveling over treacherous terrain.

The NHS Bozeman team will initially focus on refining the development, testing and deployment of these two UMV models.

The Hyundai Elevate Concept helps a person get to a doctor appointment in a city.(Hyundai via SWNS)
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Hyundai explained: “NHS Bozeman is an estimated $20 million investment in Hyundai’s Progress for Humanity vision, redefining transportation with accessible, sustainable and smart mobility solutions. The all-new facility will serve as NHS headquarters and will support prototyping, field testing and application development for UMVs.”

New Horizons Studio plans to add more than 50 full-time jobs at the location over the next five years. Many of the positions will be in the research and development space and will target expertise in mechanical hardware, electrical and electronics engineering, and materials and manufacturing.

The estimated 12,000 to 15,000 sq. ft. facility will be part of MSU’s 42-acre Innovation Campus development which is home to many technology and bio-tech businesses. As a part of this group, NHS Bozeman will also have the opportunity to collaborate and work closely with the Montana State University’s (MSU) student population as well as have access to state-of-the-art research and world class professors.

The Industry Building that will house NHS Bozeman will break ground starting in June 2022, while the first R&D office officially opens in June 2022.

“Montana is quickly becoming a hub for high-tech companies and entrepreneurs with a growing talent pool of skilled labour in the field of engineering, research and natural science,” said Dr. John Suh, head of New Horizons Studio and vice president, Hyundai Motor Group.

“Bozeman is a thriving and economic micropolitan city. Nestled near dozens of off-road trails with more than 150 miles of terrain and mountain access for UMV testing – it’s the perfect fit for our new R&D Lab."

Montana Governor Greg Gianforte said : “This is a great day for Montana. We moved quickly to capitalize on Hyundai Motor Group’s interest in our state, make this a reality, and bring more good-paying jobs to Montana.

"An innovative, global company investing in manufacturing and innovation, Hyundai Motor Group’s decision to bring its new facility to Montana and invest in our state is a testament to our business-friendly environment and Montanans’ strong work ethic.

“We’re thrilled our close personal relationships, outstanding business climate, talented workforce, and quality of life are attracting international attention. Montana is open for business to the world.”

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