Production will happen soon and other carmakers might borrow it.
Hyundai is a brand that never sits still. If you consider that the Korean automaker is working on robots, investing even further in hydrogen, and developing new electric vehicles, you'd be forgiven for thinking that Hyundai has its hands full. Just one of these endeavors would be enough to bankrupt a lesser brand or cause a meltdown for its management staff, but somehow, Hyundai continues to innovate. Last week, CarBuzz discovered that Hyundai was developing its own crabwalk system a-la GMC Hummer EV, and now the brand's Mobis division has revealed the name of the system along with some photos showing how it works.
The new technology has a name - e-Corner Module - and this reinvention of the wheel requires no mechanical connection between the steering wheel and the wheels themselves; there is no need for side shafts. A statement from Hyundai reads:
"The application of the e-Corner Module takes away the need for some mechanical parts that used to connect components, which allows the vehicle to have more space. It also allows for easier changes in the wheelbase and easier design of doors and vehicle size."
This clever design means that packaging for cars of the future could change drastically, and creating more legroom and space for all passengers will be much easier, without the need for larger vehicle bodies.
Interestingly, Hyundai isn't keeping this invention all to itself, and after refining the initial concept since its premiere at the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show, the automaker says that the new system is currently under review for mass production. Once it reaches this stage, Hyundai intends to offer the technology to other automakers, which it seems to have lined up already. Toyota could even be one of them after showcasing similar tech recently.
It'll be very exciting to test which system is best, as GMC and Hyundai aren't the only ones with this sort of idea. Tesla, Chevrolet, Toyota, and Rivian all have or are working on ways of more easily maneuvering vehicles, but while most of these aim to use their inventions off-road, we wouldn't be surprised to see Hyundai fit it to city cars and other "regular" vehicles.