Hyundai Introduces Metamobility That Will Change How We Travel

The Hyundai Motor Company has recently introduced a partly virtual and interactive future technology termed ‘metamobility’.

It is aimed at enabling human interaction with various robotic devices to offer a wide range of mobility solutions from automated individual transportation to remote-controlled robots in modern factories.

Headed by Chief Executive Euisun Chung, Hyundai’s officials explained their vision while briefing to media at the occasion of the Annual Consumer Electronics Show on Tuesday in Las Vegas.

The South Korean auto giant plans to utilize its prowess in artificial intelligence and robotics to create a mobility network that will connect real-world human beings to the tasks and objects in the virtual world.

Origin of Metaverse

Metamobility is linked to ‘metaverse’, a concept that was first introduced in 1992 by American author Neal Stephenson, and recently gained attention when social media giant Facebook was renamed Meta Platforms Inc. It is also a nod to a virtual world environment that can be accessed by people through the internet, and can use either virtual or augmented reality.

Hyundai presented various examples of how the real world can be connected with metaverse:

  • A ‘smart’ factory where humans can control robots remotely to interact with machines and products inside the factory.
  • Automated personal transportation devices for disabled individuals who want to maintain social distancing while traveling.
  • A vehicle that can be converted into a workspace or an entertainment room equipped with an advanced 3D-enabled video gaming platform.

To make this innovation possible, Hyundai is developing a Mobility of Things ecosystem that will allow modular robotic platforms to perform various mobility tasks.

PnD Module

Hyundai’s module called Plug and Drive (PnD) runs on a single-wheel robotics platform and combines intelligent steering, braking and suspension with in-wheel electric drive, lidar sensors, and cameras for automated operations.

In the case of bigger logistics, Hyundai can increase the number of PnD modules to four, along with an application that pairs with Spot, a robot dog that was developed by Boston Dynamics, the company which Hyundai acquired in June 2021.

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