Hyundai Motor Co (005380.KS) envisions an interactive and partly virtual future it calls “metamobility,” where a variety of robotic devices interact with humans to provide a broad range of mobility services, from automated individual transportation to remote control of robots in “smart” factories.
Hyundai executives, led by Chief Executive Euisun Chung, elaborated on that vision in a media briefing at the annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas on Tuesday.
The concept is related to the so-called metaverse, a term coined 30 years ago by author Neal Stephenson, but which gained attention recently when social media company Facebook changed its name to Meta Platforms Inc (FB.O). It refers to shared virtual world environments which people can access via the internet, and which can make use of virtual reality or augmented reality.
– Automated personal transportation devices for people with disabilities or individuals who want to maintain social distances while traveling.
To make all this work, the automaker said it was building a Mobility of Things ecosystem that will link modular robotic platforms to perform different mobility services.
One module called Plug & Drive or PnD is a single-wheel robotics platform that combines intelligent steering, braking and suspension with in-wheel electric drive, cameras and lidar sensors for automated operation.
For larger logistics tasks and other mobility services, Hyundai can bundle four PnD modules, including one application that pairs with a robot dog called – what else? – Spot.