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Hyundai demos crab-like lateral driving with Ioniq 5

By Kim Hae-wook & Kim Tae-gyu, UPI News Korea
The new system on Hyundai's Ioniq 5 consists of in-wheel motors, rotational steering and electronic braking in a single module so that the four wheels can turn up to 90 degrees independently. Photo courtesy of Hyundai Mobis
The new system on Hyundai's Ioniq 5 consists of in-wheel motors, rotational steering and electronic braking in a single module so that the four wheels can turn up to 90 degrees independently. Photo courtesy of Hyundai Mobis

SEOUL, April 24 (UPI) -- Automotive component maker Hyundai Mobis released a video demonstrating for the first time a crab-like, lateral-shifting car.

Ioniq 5, the flagship electric vehicle by parent company Hyundai Motor, was equipped with "E-Corner" system by the Seoul-based company and was shown off Sunday in various driving modes at its test center and on public roads.

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The new system consists of in-wheel motors, rotational steering and electronic braking in a single module so that the four wheels can turn up to 90 degrees independently, giving the car unprecedented maneuverability.

In the three-minute video, the prototype model demonstrated its lateral movability by shifting sideways into a parking spot in a parallel parking situation. It was also shown spinning 360 degrees while standing in one spot.

The company says the vehicle is even designed to drive diagonally.

The announcement of the new technology came last year when Hyundai Mobis said it had all the features in place for an all-directional drive system that would allow lateral parking and side-to-side movements.

Last month, Hyundai Mobis started testing the prototype equipped with the new system.

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"We will continue to check the reliability of the E-Corner system. It is one of our next-generation technologies under development," a Hyundai Mobis official told UPI News Korea.

Although its full commercialization date is uncertain, experts point out that the new technology could help those drivers who struggle with parking in narrow spaces.

"Advanced maneuverability is one of the most significant factors for future automobiles," Daelim University automotive Professor Kim Pil-soo told UPI News Korea. "However, it might be a while before we can actually drive such vehicles, ones with that kind of maneuverability."

The share price of Hyundai Mobis was up 0.65% Monday on the South Korean stock exchange.

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