For those of you that can’t parallel park or just can’t park in general, you may have some relief coming. Hyundai has shown a new steering system that can operate each wheel independently allowing for manoeuvres that may not have been possible before.
Called the e-Corner System, the system was developed by Hyundai’s part supplier arm, Hyundai Mobis. The system was first shown at the beginning of the year at CES in Las Vegas but seemed to have flown under the radar until now.
In a demonstration video, the system is shown on an Ioniq 5 doing four impressive manoeuvres. The key to the system is the steering angle, which allows for all four wheels to be turned 90 degrees. The first manoeuvre shown is a crab walk from left to right. The second manoeuvre is a zero turn, in which the front and rear wheels turn opposite of each other — the front wheels turn in towards each other while the rear wheels turn outward away from each other — to perform a perfect, spin-in-place turn. The next manoeuvre is a diagonal turn in which all four wheels turn the same direction at an angle, almost like a faster form of crab walking. The final manoeuvre is a pivot turn. This has the rear wheels turn 90 degrees opposite of each other to swing the back of the vehicle around.
While Hyundai hasn’t said whether or not it plans to bring this brilliant piece of tech into production, nor has the company released any technical details on it, a close inspection of the video highlights something interesting. Mainly, each wheel seems to be powered by what looks to be its own motor or steering system, allowing for independent movement of each wheel.
While it would be great to have this tech on a production vehicle, it’s not the first time that something like this has been thought of. In the 1930s, Packard created a fifth wheel concept vehicle which featured a wheel at the back of the vehicle that, at the pull of a dash mounted lever, would drop down out of a continental kit and allow the vehicle’s rear to swing around into a desired spot.