Hyundai Tiger 4×4, the four-legged off-roader for the moon

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The Hyundai Tiger is a new extreme terrain concept vehicle created as a follow-up to the Elevate concept revealed by the company at CES 2019. Like the Elevante, the Tiger is defined by its use of sophisticated leg and wheel axles that enable it to tackle the most hostile environments.

The first prototype of the vehicle is called Tiger X-1 (Experimental 1), and has been developed by a special wing of the Hyundai R&D team called New Horizons Studio, deploying cutting edge carbon composite printing techniques.

Unlike the Elevate, the new Tiger concept has been envisioned as an Ultimate Mobility Vehicle (UMV) capable of operating and exploring completely autonomously. Remote human operation and observation is enabled through a sophisticated array of sensors and 360-degree directional controls.

It’s built on a ‘modular platform’, though Hyundai does not go into any further detail. Instead, the company highlights the large loading area for transporting goods and aid packages. The articulation of the legs means that it can climb and descend extremely difficult landscapes while keeping its body and payload area almost completely flat. But it has been designed to operate via wheel movement as much as possible for the sake of efficiency with the legs only coming into play to tackle serious obstacles.

Should the Tiger arrive at an insurmountable object or patch of terrain, it can call upon and dock with an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). The UAV can deliver the Tiger to the inaccessible spot while recharging the vehicle’s battery on the way.

As well as offering up support and aid delivery in remote locations, Hyundai sees the potential for vehicles like the Tiger to be deployed in disaster zones as a first responder, and even adapted for use in Moon and Mars landings.

The Tiger X-1 is unlikely to make the transition to reality anytime soon. However, Hyundai and Kia have revealed plans to develop and produce purpose built electric vehicles from 2022 onwards – highly specialised EVs designed for specific purposes and jobs, using a scalable all-electric platform.

James Brodie

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