Forward-looking: Even the best drivers can occasionally struggle when parallel parking in a tight spot or squeezing into a crowded parking lot. But Hyundai is working on a technology that could let even the worst drivers perform the most difficult vehicle maneuvers: e-Corner, a system that allows all a car's wheels to move up to 90 degrees individually or as one.
Hyundai recently released new footage of its Ioniq 5 prototype EV with an e-Corner module on each wheel. The crab-driving demo is especially impressive, showing the car pulling up to a space that would be difficult to parallel park into, but thanks to the wheels being able to rotate 90 degrees, the vehicle can easily slide into the slot sideways.
Hyundai's e-Corner system also allows what it calls a zero turn. By rotating the front and rear wheels in opposite directions, the Ioniq 5 can spin 180 degrees on the spot, which would be very useful when you need to turn around in a tight area.
Another demonstration is the pivot turn. By rotating the rear wheels and keeping one of the front wheels in place, the car can swing its body around while the front right/left tire stays in the same spot. The end result is that car rotates into the perfect position for a parking space without any reversing or risk of hitting a parked vehicle.
The system also allows diagonal driving by turning all four wheels. It's an ability the GMC Hummer EV can also perform, but that vehicle's system can only move the pickup diagonally.
Autoblog explains that an e-Corner module packs a wheel's suspension, braking, and steering necessities into a free-standing assembly that connects to an in-wheel motor. It notes that the modules lift the car's chassis and cause the wheels to stick out slightly.
Hyundai hopes to start taking orders for its system in 2025. With other auto manufacturers working on (or having already implemented) similar features, could this advanced mobility be the future of EVs?