Automotive

Hyundai thinks out of the box with hovering cars and transforming vehicles

Hyundai thinks out of the box ...
The multi-rotor car can fly above traffic
The multi-rotor car can fly above traffic
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The E4U
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The E4U
The E4U's legs can be folded for tighter parking spaces
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The E4U's legs can be folded for tighter parking spaces
The five-jointed car is ultra-maneuverable
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The five-jointed car is ultra-maneuverable
The multi-rotor car can fly above traffic
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The multi-rotor car can fly above traffic
An RC prototype of the flying car
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An RC prototype of the flying car
The Portable Transforming Car is controlled with brain waves
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The Portable Transforming Car is controlled with brain waves
The Portable Transforming Car is controlled with brain waves
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The Portable Transforming Car is controlled with brain waves
The Wind Bike uses battery and wind power
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The Wind Bike uses battery and wind power
The five-jointed car can travel up and down stairs
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The five-jointed car can travel up and down stairs
The five-jointed car has a one-meter (3.3-foot) turning radius
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The five-jointed car has a one-meter (3.3-foot) turning radius
Spare tire and e-bike combined
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Spare tire and e-bike combined
Spare tire and e-bike combined
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Spare tire and e-bike combined

Hyundai has been running the IDEA festival, an internal contest to challenge designers and engineers to come up with futuristic transportation solutions, for three years. In preparing for IDEA 2013, Hyundai provides a look at some of the best concepts conceived during IDEA 2012 – everything from flying cars, to egg-shaped transporters, to spare tires that transform into bikes.

For the contest, Hyundai engineers submit their ideas, which are evaluated based on creativity, technology, fun and relevance to the contest theme. Those that make it through the first round put together more formal presentations, then finalists are selected and prototypes built and demonstrated.

This year's contest challenges participants to create designs around the future of customers' needs. Submissions are getting underway this month and the finalists will showcase their products in September.

Judging from last year's finalists, we think that the creations of the IDEA festival are destined to remain ideas – very interesting and cool ideas. Just look at the E4U ( "Egg, Evolution, Electricity and Eco-Friendliness"). The 176-pound (80-kg), one-person car essentially integrated the driver into the design – the top of the egg rests on his head. The car used a single motor for motivation and steering and a "hemisphere design" that allowed the driver to pivot and tilt. It was designed for low speeds (up to 15 mph/24 km/h ) and tight urban corridors.

The five-jointed car has a one-meter (3.3-foot) turning radius
The five-jointed car has a one-meter (3.3-foot) turning radius

Other concepts that triumphed in last year's IDEA contest included a multi-rotor flying car designed to commute over top of traffic congestion, a folding electric bike built into a spare tire, and a personal commuter that used voice recognition to transform from car to bike. Another concept vehicle used five joints to provide vastly enhanced maneuverability (see photo above), including a one-meter (3.3-foot) turning radius and the ability to climb stairs.

Those concepts may never get spit off production lines, but it's good to see a manufacturer stimulating creativity, especially when it results in working concepts, as opposed to just artistic renderings.

We have photos of some of the aforementioned designs, but due to a pending rights issue we're unable to publish the video of the concepts in action. You can find that video by searching "Hyundai IDEA 2012" on YouTube or Google, however.

Source: Hyundai

17 comments
VoiceofReason
Sometimes I wonder what the color of the sky is in the world these designers live in. Exposed rotors AND flying over traffic? Can't wait until someone sticks a hand in or flies right into a power line. My concept will use metallic hydrogen. It only needs a tank capable of holding 3 million psi. Surely just as plausible as exposed rotors on a car.
martinkopplow
@voiceofreason: Ever seen a helicopter ... with exposed rotors? Still, I agree that flying cars are not going to happen as long as they need to be piloted by ordinary people. Flying is kind of unforgiving to all sorts of errors. Ask me how I know. It would raise the 'road kill' numbers dramatically, if these became mainstream.
Stewart Mitchell
I believe that sound waves will levitate and will be the future of travel
yinfu99
Driving on the ground is also unforgiving. Looking at accident statistics, I dont think flying cars would add much to the overall large counts. The point I see here is there is a lot of moving this and that part to make new things but whats really coming out of it? If you can create a device to drive a car with your mind, then why put it on an altering trike instead of a real car? if you can make flying cars, why not use gyrostabilization and vector thrust from an internal engine (no exposed props) for flight? There is moving forward with designs and then there is taking a lot of side steps ...
VoiceofReason
Yes Martin I have, but typically the rotors are ABOVE the vehicle, not arrayed in a fashion that I can drop my cell phone or an arm into.
Snatr
No matter what the form of lift, the flying will have to be done autonomously. And doubtfully very more than several lanes high.
Jay Finke
These cars have there place, street sweeper,mower,slice and dice and a great way to get dust in your eyes. Oh and a great source of noise.
offthegrid
This article wants me to believe that real world, today educated and graduated engineers actually believe this is going to come to be? How can I stop laughing. Gizmag should more stories about one wheel motorcycles and hoover cars that will no doubt be the new rave in the future. From planet "Deluded".
William H Lanteigne
These are great ideas, but for my money I'd prefer a passenger-carrying minivan that converts easily to cargo mode by having the seats fold into the floor; and that then can convert to a compact pickup truck. It doesn't have to be electric, it would be nice if it was powered by a turbodiesel.
galaxydrifter
Of course I love all of the innovative ideas here. Hover cars would be cool yet likely impractical on crowded city streets. All of the dirt, dust and garbage flying over the bystanders. They would be more suited to open freeways and rural roads. Just imagine 100 or so of these tailgating at 70 MPH and trying to stop at a traffic jam back up. Also I think you should forget about any real "flying" commuter car. No way will the government ever let the common man have those on the market. That would be a security nightmare for civilian and military properties world wide. Fences and barricades would be obsolete over night. How safe would you feel if your enemy or any crazy nut job could take a flying car and glide right onto the runway in front of your plane as is takes off or worse drop in at the local schoolyard. No commercial or private property would be safe from trespassing, theft or vandalism. Including sensitive high security areas like reservoirs, power plants and water sheds. We would all have to string giant nets over our property to protect it. I realize this may be a bit extreme for examples but they are all valid point to ponder. Thanks.