Hyundai Mobis unveils Ioniq 5 prototype that drives sideways
The stress of tight parallel parks or U-turns could be a thing of the past if technologies like Hyundai Mobis’ e-corner go mainstream.
First announced in 2018, the e-Corner is a single unit that combines suspension, steering, drive and braking functions and is small enough to fit in the wheel hub of a conventional vehicle.
And because the e-Corner uses an in-wheel motor for propulsion, as opposed to a live axle, the wheel can rotate up to 90 degrees, resulting in impressive manoeuvrability.
Hyundai Mobis, Hyundai’s parts and accessories arm, recently demonstrated this maneuverability in a Hyundai Ioniq 5 crossover. A video shows four types of movements: crab driving, zero turn, diagonal driving and pivot turn.
When crab driving, the vehicle drives sideways, which would make parallel parking a breeze. Zero turn is where the vehicle completes a full 360 degree rotation in one spot, ideal for U-turns, while pivot turn is where the front of the vehicle stays in place and the rear rotates around the spot. Diagonal driving is the same as the GMC Hummer EV’s crab walk, where the vehicle moves in a diagonal motion.
Hyundai Mobis hasn’t announced any plans for a production version of the e-Corner, although there’s a chance it will be used in future robotaxis, as the added maneuverability would be ideal in busy urban environments where robotaxis are best suited.
Hyundai Mobis M.Vision To Concept
Hyundai Mobis presented a concept for a robotaxi equipped with e-corner technology during the CES 2023 last week. Dubbed the M.Vision To, Hyundai Mobis said a vehicle like the M.Vision To could be used to offer rides or deliver cargo.
One of the first customers for a vehicle like the M.Vision To might even be Hyundai. The automaker has a self-driving technology joint venture with Aptiv, which plans to launch a robotaxi service in Las Vegas later this year.