Mobility

Meet TIGER, Hyundai's first ultimate mobility vehicle concept

TIGER is Hyundai's Ultimate Mobility Vehicle concept, designed to take on inhospitable climates.

Photo courtesy of Hyundai Motor Group
Hyundai has taken their ultimate mobility vehicle concepts from just an idea to closer to reality. Its latest concept, TIGER (Transforming Intelligent Ground Excursion Robot) is the first urban mobility vehicle (UMV) concept that has been unpacked further than a sketch on paper.

"Vehicles like TIGER, and the technologies underpinning it, give us an opportunity to push our imaginations," said Dr. John Suh, Head of New Horizons Studio. "We are constantly looking at ways to rethink vehicle design and development and re-define the future of transportation and mobility."

TIGER is designed to transform mobility in extreme environments that are often hostile to humans. It's based on modular platform architecture and has a features list that includes a sophisticated leg and wheel locomotion system, 360-degree directional control, and a range of sensors for remote observation. TIGER is designed to interact with unmanned arial vehicles (UAVs) to be delivered to their launching point.

TIGER Hyundai's Ultimate Mobility Vehicle Concept

TIGER Hyundai's Ultimate Mobility Vehicle Concept

Photo courtesy of Hyundai Motor Group

The UMV has a large load bay within its body that can be used to carry goods, including aid packages, for delivery. Leg-wheel articulation makes the TIGER able to keep payload levels stable while traversing the tough terrain.

When its legs are retracted, TIGER drives like a traditional all-wheel drive vehicles. Hyundai says that the UMV's most efficient drive mode involves it moving by rolling traction. When the model encounters terrain that is impassible for it in traditional form, the legs deploy.

This first version of TIGER is called X-1. It was designed utilizing a number of partnerships with Silicon Valley-based businesses. The project is being led by Hyundai Motor Group's New Horizons Studio, while working in close partnership with Autodesk, a leading engineering design software company.

"Working closely with the team at Hyundai on the TIGER X-1 vehicle, using advanced technology such as generative design to push the boundaries of increasing strength while reducing weight in transportation, is exactly what we mean when we talk about creating the new possible," said Srinath Jonnalagadda, Vice President of Business Strategy for Design and Manufacturing at Autodesk. "New design, engineering and manufacturing techniques enabled by Autodesk Fusion 360 help today's modern, collaborative teams get to production faster and more efficiently."

TIGER : Hyundai's Uncrewed Ultimate Mobility Vehicle (UMV) Conceptwww.youtube.com

The two companies designed a lightweight but strong structure that has legs and certain chassis elements made using carbon fiber composite additive printing.

External concept design experts Sundberg-Ferar have been working with New Horizons Studio to find a way for TIGER X-1 to deliver and retrieve critical payloads across rugged terrain.

"While developing TIGER with New Horizons Studio, the team at Sundberg-Ferar was looking to create a robot that maximized the efficiency of wheeled motion with the articulation of a quadruped to expand the possibility of reaching more remote locations," said David Byron, Manager of Design and Innovation Strategy at Sundberg-Ferar. "TIGER is a modular platform design allowing different bodies to be attached to the chassis for unique applications such as cargo delivery or surveillance in locations not suitable for humans."

Hyundai's mobility innovation is expected to continue with additional concept vehicles likely to be seen in the years ahead.

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The IIHS may increase the speeds it uses to test advanced driver aids.

Insurance Institute for Highway Safety

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) recently announced that it is considering changing the speeds it uses to test vehicle-to-vehicle front crash prevention systems. The agency currently tests the systems at 12 and 25 mph, but says that the speeds don't accurately represent the types of crashes the safety tech is meant to prevent.

Front crash preventionwww.youtube.com

Automatic emergency braking (AEB) is designed to notify of a possible collision and help respond with automatic application of braking. Just like a human using the brake pedal, it can stop the car, but higher speeds make it difficult to stop in time. The new tests would be conducted at 35 to 45 mph, which is the range where a large number of rear-end crashes occur. As Automotive News noted, an IIHS study showed 43 percent of rear-end crashes occur at speeds of 45 mph or less, so it's important to have a test that shows how well the tech performs at those levels.

A whopping 85 percent of 2022 vehicles earned a "Superior" rating in the current testing regime, so the IIHS will remove it from 2023 testing and Top Safety Pick award evaluations. Their view is that, since the majority of vehicles meet the criteria, it's no longer an accurate way of evaluating performance. In its place, the agency introduced a night test for automatic emergency braking systems that will begin next year.

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The 2023 Sportage Hybrid starts at around $28,000.

Kia

Kia's moving full steam ahead to an all-electric future, but the automaker's intermediate models should not be overlooked. Kia and Hyundai do hybrids as well as anyone, and the 2023 Sportage Hybrid is coming soon with new tech, updated styling, and a value-forward price. The 2023 Kia Sportage Hybrid goes on sale in spring.

2023 Kia Sportage HybridThe Sportage Hybrid delivers up to 39 mpg.Kia

Kia offers the Sportage hybrid in three trims: The $28,505 LX, $32,205 EX, and $37,405 SX-Prestige. All models come with a turbocharged 1.6-liter engine and a 44kW electric motor that combine to produce 226 horsepower. A six-speed automatic transmission with a rotary shifter is standard, and all-wheel drive become standard at the EX trim. The powertrain is efficient for an SUV, delivering up to 39 mpg when paired with front-wheel drive.

Kia says the Sportage Hybrid's interior features a 12.3-inch infotainment touchscreen and a 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster for almost 25 inches of display. Standard tech is generous, and includes wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. There's also plenty of safety tech. Kia adds standard gear that includes:

  • Driver attention warning system
  • LED headlights
  • Lane following assist and lane keep assist
  • Forward collision warnings with cyclist detection
  • Rear occupant alerts
  • Rearview monitor
  • Reverse parking distance warnings
Several optional features are available, including blind spot warnings, forward parking distance warnings, navigation-based cruise control, and more.

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