However, Michael Whiteley, head of fuel cell engineering at UCL’s Electrochemical Innovation Lab, noted that while it was good to see Hyundai pushing boundaries, it was unlikely the Elevate concept would become a reality anytime soon.
“Sticking with four wheels might lead to some stability issues when ‘walking,'” he told CNBC via email. “When two of the legs are lifted, the car could have balance issues with only two remaining wheels planted on terra firma. Will we see this in the future? Possibly not in the near future. The concept is a great idea, and may very well evolve over time – (but) I don’t think that we are quite ready for this yet in terms of system cost and the feasibility issues of implementing such a vehicle to terrestrial application.”
Allahyar Montazeri, lecturer in engineering at Lancaster University, told CNBC via email Wednesday that the proposed design could take vehicle use in rough terrain to “the next level” – but he noted that the mechanics were complex.
“The ultimate challenges … are uncertain parameters of terrain and ensuring the dynamic stability of the vehicle,” he said. “For example, in a realistic terrain, the vehicle may be challenged by regions causing tip-over, trapped wheels, or loss of traction. Some regions are not traversable at all and others may cause disastrous system failures.”
Montazeri added that the concept demanded an advanced design, incorporating elements of artificial intelligence to analyse potentially dangerous terrain with minimal action from the vehicle’s operator.