In a statement Hyundai Motor Co said, it envisions an interactive and partial virtual future in what it terms as “metamobility,” wherein a variety of robotic devices will be able to interact with humans to provide a broad range of mobility services ranging 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 (CES) in Las Vegas.
The Japanese giant aims to leverage its expertise in robotics and artificial intelligence to build a future mobility network that links consumers to virtual objects in a virtual world.
The concept is similar to the term metaverse, coined by Neal Stephenson, and which gained attention after Facebook Inc changed its name to Meta Platforms Inc.
The term refers to shared virtual world environments wherein people can access the internet through either virtual or augmented reality.
Offering several examples of its vision vis-à-vis the metaverse, Hyundai said its vehicles may have technologies which can transform its vehicle into a working space or an entertainment room using 3D video game platform.
Citing another case in point, its technologies could be deployed in a “smart” factory where humans outside the plant can remotely control robots that interact with machines and products inside the plant.
Citing a third example, Hyundai said, it also aims to develop technologies towards automated personal transportation devices for those with disabilities or for individuals who want to maintain social distances while traveling.
To bring about such technologies Hyundai said it was building a Mobility of Things ecosystem that will link modular robotic platforms to perform different mobility services.
One such module, called Plug & Drive, (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 Hyundai could bundle four PnD modules.
Hyundai has also created a robotic dog, called Spot, that can be paired with PnD modules.