Kia Set to Utilize Hyundai’s Revolutionary Crab-Steering Technology, Pending Final Testing

Kia Design Chief Urges Production of Design Concept

Nestled tightly against a compact enclosure resembling a tennis court at CES, the flashy yearly technology convention in Las Vegas, we eagerly observed as around two hundred individuals delightedly witnessed the Hyundai Mobion, an electric vehicle, scuttle sideways like a crab, skillfully maneuver in a diagonal direction, and gracefully spin in its spot.

Every fresh feat of skill – enabled by the ability of four wheels to rotate a full 90 degrees and spin autonomously – provoked audible gasps from spectators used to witnessing cars merely going forward or backward. Those times have come to an end, my companions.

The remarkable aspect of this situation was not simply the existence of this technology, but its near-readiness for widespread use.

Hyundai Mobis, the supplier division of the automaker that introduced the Mobion concept, has set a target of finishing the advancement of their impressive e-Corner system by 2025, according to a statement from a company representative to InsideEVs. Kia, also a part of the Hyundai Motor Group, is excited to implement this technology in their upcoming self-driving delivery vehicles; meaning it may not be too far off until a Kia electric vehicle delivers a package to your doorstep, turns around and continues on its journey.

That’s the concept, regardless.

During a recent interview with InsideEVs, Kia’s design chief Karim Habib expressed that he believes it is crucial for us to move forward with implementing this idea.

After the completion of e-Corner, Hyundai Mobis plans to present it to various car manufacturers, according to Lee Seung-hwan, the company’s head of advanced engineering. Currently, his team is focused on reducing the cost of e-Corner, as he mentioned that having two motors per wheel can be a disadvantage in terms of price. Additionally, they are also committed to ensuring that e-Corner meets durability standards.

If everything goes according to plan and customers register, he anticipates that e-Corner will commence production in approximately 2030. He mentioned that Kia could potentially become one of the initial purchasers of e-Corner.

The presentation by Hyundai Mobis emphasized numerous benefits that would be useful for everyday drivers, including myself. The potential to glide sideways into a narrow parking space could revolutionize parallel parking. Additionally, navigating around a vehicle parked illegally would be effortless if all four wheels could rotate 45 degrees and move diagonally. However, according to Lee, the most impactful utilization of e-Corner technology will be in the realm of commercial vehicles, specifically autonomous delivery vans.

At the Consumer Electronics Show, Kia introduced a prototype for a similar car. In their press release about an upcoming series of vans with diverse customization options, the automaker demonstrated a potential future design featuring e-Corner technology. The PV1, a compact vehicle, is envisioned to not require a driver and will utilize four-wheel steering for improved maneuvering on urban roads. While the specifics of the model are still being determined, Habib acknowledged that Hyundai Mobis’s technological advancements would be an excellent fit for this project.

According to a company spokesperson, E-Corner is not suitable for use in passenger cars due to its significantly deep wheel wells that take up too much interior room. However, the spokesperson went on to explain that if the goal is to create a van with a raised floor and more than just seating between the wheels, then E-Corner would be a logical choice.

The rise of electric vehicles has brought about the creation of e-Corner, a revolutionary concept. The challenges that would arise from attempting such feats with a traditional gas engine are unimaginable. The reliance on a solitary rotating shaft to power four wheels, which need to move in different directions and positions, is simply impractical.The emergence of EVs has paved the way for e-Corner, a groundbreaking idea. The difficulties that would arise from attempting these tasks using a typical gasoline engine are hard to fathom. Depending on a single revolving shaft to operate four wheels, which must maneuver in diverse directions and orientations, is downright unfeasible.

By utilizing separate electric motors for each wheel, a wealth of exciting opportunities become available. This is particularly evident in the Mobion prototype from Hyundai, as it features a second motor at each corner specifically for steering. Through this design, the wheels are able to rotate individually, allowing for the car to perform a seamless 180-degree rotation known as a “zero turn”. Furthermore, by keeping the front wheels stationary and turning only the rear wheels 90 degrees, the entire vehicle can swing around like a windscreen wiper, utilizing the front wheels as a pivot point.

Driving Module | The Kia Concept PV1

Several electric cars currently available utilize their electric motors and simplified four-wheel steering systems to perform unique maneuvers. For instance, the GMC Hummer EV pickup can move in a diagonal direction due to its rear-wheel steering capability. Meanwhile, Mercedes-Benz has boasted about their soon-to-be-released electric G-Class’ ability to rotate like a top using wheels on one side that spin in the opposite direction of those on the other.

Although the attendees at CES may have high expectations, it is highly unlikely that the impressive features of e-Corner will become a part of your daily driving routine. According to Lee, the main reason for this is because controlling everything would be excessively bewildering.

According to him, it would be most beneficial to let self-driving cars handle the task of operating cranes and maneuvering around tight corners.

Please reach out to the writer at tim.levin@insideevs.comIf you wish to get in touch with the author, please contact him via the following email address:

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