Remember that Hyundai concept 4x4 with robotic legs?
The South Korean automotive giant actually means to make it a reality and it has announced a development and test facility in Montana for that very purpose.
Hyundai has a planned investment goal of $20 million over the next five years for its New Horizons Studio, which will employ 50 people.
It will be located in Montana State University's Innovation Campus in Bozeman, Montana and it will be "a unit focused on the development of Ultimate Mobility Vehicles", Hyundai said in a press release.
Hyundai's new Ultimate Mobility Vehicles facility
The occupants of the roughly 15,000-sq-ft Montana facility will start off by building Hyundai's TIGER autonomous vehicle and the Elevate crewed UMV, Hyundai explained.
"Montana is quickly becoming a hub for high-tech companies and entrepreneurs with a growing talent pool of skilled labor 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," he continued.
Hyundai's Elevate and TIGER concepts will become a reality
Hyundai first unveiled the Elevate concept back in 2019, showing off an all-terrain vehicle that would be practically unstoppable due to the fact that it could drive on its wheels and also walk on rough terrain.
The concept vehicle — shown in the video above — has four electrically driven wheels, each of which is mounted on a robotic leg with several articulations, allowing them to bend and swivel at different points. The design allows the vehicle to lift itself over obstacles and also step down from ledges.
The TIGER concept, revealed last year, is a smaller, autonomous four-legged walking car devised for remote operation with potential applications in space exploration, mining, logistics, and construction. Hyundai will first work on making the TIGER concept a reality before moving on to the two-seater crewed Elevate. The company said the Elevate will be built to handle "challenging driving situations and [it could] potentially save lives as the first responder in natural disasters." If all goes according to plan, the first Elevate unveiling could go down as the most viral vehicle launch since Tesla's Cybertruck.