Hyundai imagines an EV future where cars 'crab drive' sideways to park

It also unveiled a concept where all the windows are displays.

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Hyundai imagines an EV future where cars 'crab drive' sideways to park
S.J.HONG

Every urban mobility EV concept needs some kind of fun gimmick, and Hyundai has delivered quite a few with its latest Mobis M.Vision concepts. The first model called the M.Vision POP is a small two seater not unlike Citroen's Ami, but with some unique features that make it much more tech-friendly and maneuverable. 

The POP was developed under Hyundai's "Tech Joy" theme, with a "core solution" called "Phobility." Translated from designer-speak, the idea is that your smartphone could not only be used to reserve a car, but would also be embedded in the steering wheel and "become the cockpit of the automobile itself," according to Hyundai. It can then interface with the vehicle's display, allow for voice recognition and "use smartphone sensors for wireless steering of the vehicle," somehow. In a video, Hyundai even shows how you could pass the steering wheel over to your passenger if you became sleepy. 

The key feature of the POP, however, is the e-Corner module (shown above). Each of the four wheels rotate up to 180 degrees sideways, allowing the vehicle to move from side-to-side like a crab, or even rotate 360 degrees in place. That could be a big aid for parking (the vehicle would self-park, of course), or let you make a very rapid U-turn if you accidentally pass your destination.

Meanwhile, the M.Vision X is a four-passenger self-driving vehicle that's also laden with tech. All the vehicle windows can be transformed into LCD displays, allowing you to watch sports, entertainment or transform the entire vehicle into a disco, according to the video below. If some passengers want to just look outside, half the windows can be screens and the others regular see-through glass. Passengers would be able to control driving functions, AI speakers and infotainment using gesture recognition functions to they don't have to touch anything and there's even a UV lighting sterilization function — Hyundai's answer to these COVID times. 

Some of this is clearly a bit silly and far-fetched, but then again it's also a lot of fun and that's what concept cars are all about. On the practical side, Hyundai said it wanted to explore how to integrate mobility tech with the changes people have made due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and it's one of the first automakers to show how that might look.

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