Hyundai's Four-Legged 'Walking Car Concept' Is Truly the Stuff of Nightmares

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Image: Hyundai

We get it. You never saw Hyundai as the one to bring on the robot apocalypse, especially since you weren’t even sure about the brand’s reliability until its long warranty convinced you a few years ago. But perhaps that was your weakness.


After all, if there’s anything we’ve learned in these modern times, it’s to never underestimate the likelihood of a too-good-to-be-true Craigslist posting to be a scam or the ability of the brands to bring about the robot uprising.

Hyundai sure doesn’t think this machine of its design, a “four-legged walking-car concept” called the Elevate, will end life as we know it, but that’s how robot uprisings always start.

Instead, Hyundai is bringing the vehicle to the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this month with a goal of combining “the power of robotics and EV technology to take people where no vehicle has been before” (a robot-induced nuclear winter). Hyundai also said the Elevate concept has “wheels with robotic legs [that] allow users to drive, walk or even climb over the most treacherous terrain” (the remains of human civilization after the uprising).

Aside from categorizing the Elevate as a part of a new vehicle category—the “Ultimate Mobility Vehicle,” as Hyundai puts it—and noting that the design concept and prototype will be on display at a Hyundai press conference on Jan. 7, the description above is all Hyundai said about the concept.

Again, vague descriptions of freaky robots that can walk are always a good sign and most certainly do not lead to robot uprisings in the movies.

This is the point in the film when someone pats you gently and says everything will be alright, because we brought these machines into this world, and we can take them out of it—even if they’ve already wiped out most of the population. Three cheers for optimism and unnecessary clichés in a time of panic.


Eddie Brannan

There was a time when Google/Alphabet owned Boston Dynamics and I was certain that they were mapping the world (including inside structures) through Google Maps/Earth and monitoring our movements through parsing our emails, maps usage, and Google Home/Assistant data in order to create a robot dog army that would know precisely where any individual was at any time and could hunt us all down.

I still think the sale of the company was just a ruse.