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Hyundai Introduces TIGER: a Mobility Vehicle Concept

Sometimes you look at a car company and wonder what they were thinking when they were unveiling a product. That’s not the case with TIGER, an uncrewed ultimate mobility vehicle concept from Hyundai.

Remember the old Tiger in Your Tank commercials by Exxon? Hyundai has a TIGER in its future with the new ultimate mobility vehicle concept it unveiled in Seoul and California.

TIGER stands for transforming intelligent ground excursion robot. It is intended to carry payloads over remote and inaccessible terrain and designed to operate as a four-wheel drive vehicle or a four-legged walking machine.

Now it’s easy to wonder what Hyundai is thinking when it introduces a concept like TIGER. Why does a company that has a great vehicle like the Santa Fe need an uncrewed ultimate mobility vehicle concept?

Hyundai TIGER on the moon

It’s actually a simple answer. Hyundai is a global company. TIGER addresses two pressing global needs: an aging population that is also expanding and demands more resources.

The ground excursion robot is designed to carry various types of payload while traveling over challenging terrain. A large load bay housed within its body means TIGER can carry goods for delivery. Leg-wheel articulation enables TIGER to tackle a range of extreme situations while keeping payloads more level than a typical ground vehicle.

With its legs retracted, TIGER drives like an all-wheel drive vehicle and is in its most efficient mode because it moves by rolling traction. But when the vehicle gets stuck or needs to travel over terrain that is difficult or impassable for wheels alone, it uses its walking ability to get unstuck or more easily travel over that terrain.

This was a feature previously seen in Elevate, Hyundai Motor Group’s first-ever UMV concept with moveable legs, which debuted at the 2019 Consumer Electronic Show (CES).

How does TIGER benefit a graying population? Its enhanced mobility capabilities. The leg-wheel articulation will eventually evolve into personalized mobility transport. Seniors will be able to move about with independence because they will no longer rely on wheelchairs that can’t traverse stairs, for example.

Learn more about TIGER’s capabilities at the Hyundai Global YouTube channel.

Keith Griffin covers Hyundai and Kia at Torque News. He has been writing continuously about cars since 2002. Keith used to be a researcher/writer for US News & World Report, as well as numerous car sites, including Carfax and Car Gurus, and a contributor to The Boston Globe. Most recently, Keith was the managing editor for American Business Media. Follow Keith at @indepthauto on Twitter, on @LinkedIn and on his Indepth Auto Facebook page.


DeanMcManis (not verified)    February 11, 2021 - 12:49PM

It's definitely a cool machine. I have always liked robots, and having this vehicle available with the drone deployment looks very interesting. I do wonder how it would manage in a forest without a mostly flat trail. Sure, it can climb slowly over fallen trees, but there is often a lot of debris (branches and leaves) once you get off the beaten path. Still, the idea of pilotless vehicles could really help for rescue efforts in any emergency, including fires and earthquakes.