Is Driving About to Get Easier?
New technology allows a car’s wheels to turn up to 360 degrees.
Do you notice anything unusual about this Hyundai Ioniq 5?
Ask a driver what’s most challenging about operating a car, and they’re likely to say it’s parallel parking—maneuvering a vehicle into a space between two cars already parked on the side of a street. Parallel parking requires three precise turns of the steering wheel (more turns might be needed for a tight parking spot or with a nervous driver). But what if a car’s wheels could rotate 90 degrees, allowing the car to move sideways, right into that spot? A new technology makes this, and more, possible.
Hyundai Mobis’s new e-corner system allows a vehicle’s wheels to turn so they’re perpendicular to the vehicle. This enables drivers to move the car sideways (Hyundai calls this “crab driving” because crabs move sideways), diagonally, and even in a full, 360-degree spin. The Hyundai Motor Group says this makes it easier not only to parallel park but also to maneuver around parking lots, narrow streets, and obstacles in the road.
The system, which may take years to become available in commercially sold cars, can be used only in electronic vehicles (EVs). That’s because, with e-corner, each wheel operates independently, with its own motor. (In traditional, gas-powered vehicles, the wheels are powered by the internal combustion engine.)
Hyundai Mobis tested the technology by installing it in an EV called a Hyundai Ioniq 5. But even though the Ioniq demonstrated the technology, e-corner won’t be limited to Hyundai vehicles. Mobis is a supply company owned by Hyundai, and it can sell the technology to many automakers.