We’re not in attendance at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES2024) in Las Vegas. But that hasn’t stopped us from parsing through the many stories, reports, videos, and other material that’s been pointed our way. We don’t have a favorite story (yet), but the news about the Hyundai Mobis MOBION has us intrigued.
Hyundai Mobis Defined
So, exactly what is Hyundai Mobis? Hyundai Mobis, originally named from a combination of ‘Mobile’ and ‘System’, later redefined its name to stand for ‘Mobility Beyond Integrated Solution’. This new interpretation reflects their focus on advanced and integrated mobility solutions. In other words, Mobis is the mobility arm for this Korean automaker.
At the CES event, Mobis introduced an intriguing concept vehicle called MOBION (mobility on), which is primarily based on the Hyundai Ioniq 5 electric vehicle. This model features Mobis’ new ‘e-Corner System’ technology, giving it the ability to move in unusual ways. Specifically, the MOBION can move sideways, diagonally, and can even rotate in place, demonstrating movements that are uncommon for traditional vehicles.
If you’re under the impression that this is merely a novelty, it’s worth giving it a second thought. Watch this CNET video to see what this concept is capable of. CNET reports that the technology is almost ready and is expected to be released in 2025. Although Hyundai is likely to be the initial user of this technology, Mobis intends to offer it to various other car makers as well.
Backing up Mobis’ plans is the statement from Lee Seung-Hwan, who is the Vice President and Head of Advanced Engineering at Hyundai Mobis. “The MOBION represents the embodiment of Hyundai Mobis’ core technologies, all of which are ready for immediate mass production. Always striving to shift the mobility paradigm with vehicles, Mobis created MOBION to showcase our key products and capabilities.”
MOBION’s ability to move sideways, drive diagonally, and execute pivot turns is made possible by independently controlling each of its four wheels. The e-Corner System, which brings these dynamic movements to life, consists of four main technologies. Central to this system is the “In-Wheel” technology, which is essential for driving the electric vehicle forward.
“In-Wheel technology involves placing four small motors inside each wheel, as opposed to the single large driving motor commonly used in EVs,” said Vice President Lee Young-kook, the Head of Electrification Lab. “This configuration enables each wheel to generate its own power independently.”
The e-Corner System integrates braking, steering, and suspension functionalities into its In-Wheel component. Specifically, Mobis established a control technology to coordinate these functions. The company conducted on-road tests of this system in 2023, achieving successful results.
Doing the Crabwalk
Certainly, the MOBION system may prove to be one of the most fascinating technologies showcased at this year’s show. Think of all the practical (even impractical!) ways of employing it (e.g., parking, u-turns, negotiating once impossible spaces), and the appeal is strong. We can imagine that the “crabwalk” feature will become hugely popular, with parking lot warriors engaging in all sorts of shenanigans.
See Also — About the Hyundai Ioniq 6 EV
Image and press release courtesy of Hyundai Mobis.