Since 2010, Hyundai Motor Group’s R&D Centre has held an “IDEA Festival” annually to discover fresh ideas on future mobility. The company’s engineers are provided with themes and then invited to submit their ideas which can win them rewards such as prize money and trips to other countries.
By encouraging its engineers to express their creativity and also to cultivate R&D culture is expected to allow for active development of new technologies based on enhanced teamwork.
The theme of ‘IDEA Festival 2012’ was ‘Free Mobility’, which means future technology-adopted mobility with an addition of a fun factor. From the many submissions received, around 20 were chosen based on creativity, technology, fun and relevance to the theme. The selected teams then competed in a presentation contest and were graded based on creativity, technology, fun and production feasibility.
About half of them made it to the finals where they were required to actually make their prototypes vehicles which could be demonstrated in the festival day.
One of the most interesting was the E4U, which is derived from four Es: Egg, Evolution, Electricity and Eco-friendliness. This egg-shaped vehicle can contain one person like a pod and as it stands vertically (the pointed section at the top), it can be driven along narrow roads in urban areas.
An electric motor which provides power to move the E4U is in the hemispherical base, where its weight helps to maintain balance. To change direction, the passenger can pivot the structure which is lightweight (80 kgs) and the speed and turning are dependent on the angle of tilt. For parking, the E4U has rear legs to support it and the side sections are also detachable to reduce its width.
The E4U is not for sale anytime soon but there are many Hyundai models which you can buy today that can also carry more than one person. Find out more about them at www.hyundai.com.my
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