Hyundai Motor Group has announced the formation of a new unit focused on the development of so-called ultimate mobility vehicles (UMVs).
The New Horizons Studio will use a combination of robotics and wheeled locomotion technology to develop products capable of traversing unconventional environments and challenging off-road terrain, including places where vehicles have not previously roamed.
Potential applications include a car with robotic legs that could save lives as the first responder in natural disasters, or walk up to the front door of people who do not have access to an ADA ramp before levelling itself and allowing wheelchairs to roll inside the vehicle.
Unveiled at CES 2019, Hyundai Elevate is the inaugural vehicle concept now being developed by New Horizons Studio.
The unit is being led by Dr John Suh, who has held several leadership roles at Hyundai Motor Group since 2011. He served as founding director of Hyundai Ventures, and then led Hyundai CRADLE (Center for Robotic-Augmented Design in Living Experiences) as its founding director based in Silicon Valley.
Suh brings over 35 years of expertise in the automotive and emerging technology sectors, including roles at Stanford University, Palo Alto Research Center, and General Motors Company. “We aim to create the world’s first transformer-class vehicle, also known as the ultimate mobility vehicle,” said Suh.
Dr Ernestine Fu has also joined New Horizons Studio as director of product management. Fu led research on human operator and autonomous vehicle interactions at Stanford University’s Volkswagen Automotive Innovation Lab, as well as scaled emerging technology companies for over nine years as a venture capital partner at Alsop Louie Partners.