Hyundai's wild 'crab-driving' prototype may have just solved parallel parking for good — see it in action
- Hyundai showed off a new technology called e-Corner in a recent video.
- The system lets all four wheels swivel up to 90 degrees, resulting in some cool tricks.
You ever pull up to a parking spot and seemingly lose all ability to parallel park? Sometimes, no matter how many times you swerve in and out, you always end up crooked or on the curb. If this doesn't apply to you, congratulations.
For the rest of us, Hyundai has a solution. Maybe. Someday.
Hyundai Mobis, the carmaker's parts division, released a new video of a technology it's developing called e-Corner. The system enables all four of a car's wheels to swivel up to 90 degrees — either together or independently — resulting in some pretty awe-inspiring capabilities.
One application is parking. The clip shows a Hyundai Ioniq 5 electric vehicle pull up directly beside an open parking spot, turn all four wheels perpendicular to the curb, and just scoot right on in. There's no backing up, and no turning the steering wheel this way and that. Hyundai calls this "crab driving."
EV technology makes this all possible. Most EVs have a motor mounted to one or both of their axles, but motors can also go inside the wheels like you'd see on an electric kick scooter or bike. It's a rare setup in the auto business; Lordstown Motors, an electric-pickup startup, may be the only company selling a vehicle in the US with so-called hub motors.
But as Hyundai Mobis demonstrates, this kind of system allows for some outlandish maneuvers you couldn't accomplish in a regular vehicle.
Hyundai also showcased a "zero turn," which is basically a U-turn without the U. Once again, the Ioniq 5 swivels its wheels outward, but this time the front and rear wheels spin in opposite directions, making the Ioniq 5 spin in place. Sounds like it could come in handy in a tight parking lot.
Later in the video, the Ioniq 5 does a "pivot turn," where the front-right wheel stays in place while the back of the vehicle swings outward. Interestingly enough, this isn't a totally new concept. Automakers experimented with contraptions that could swing the rear of a car into a parking space since at least the 1930s:
The tech also allows for diagonal driving, accomplished by angling all four wheels 45 degrees. (That's something the GMC Hummer EV pickup can do as well.) But out of all the tech displayed in the clip, the parallel parking and 180-degree pirouette seem to be the most useful out in the real world. Hyundai hasn't said whether e-Corner will ever make it to market.
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