Hyundai Mobis makes parking a breeze with crab-walking CES concept

The Mobion concept car's e-Corner System proves it has the moves

Hyundai Mobis Mobion
(Image credit: Hyundai Mobis)

Picture the scene: you pull up to the perfect parallel parking spot, but the road is narrow and there are cars parked on the other side. You drive a massive modern EV, realise you're going to bash a bumper, so all you can do is mutter some expletives and drive on.

This might not be the case in the very near future, as Hyundai Mobis, which is part of the wider Hyundai Motor Group, unveiled the smooth-moving Mobion concept car at CES this year, which packs its upcoming e-Corner drive system.

Put simply, Mobis has built upon its In-Wheel motor technology, which places four smaller electric motors in each wheel, rather than a much larger e-motor that drives front and/or rear axles in most production EVs today.

Thanks to this newfound freedom, engineers were able to incorporate braking, steering, and suspension functions into each wheel, allowing them all to be controlled individually and as a result, pull some very funky moves.

Hyundai Mobis Mobion

(Image credit: Hyundai Mobis)

During our demo on the Las Vegas Convention Center show floor, we witnessed the heavily modified Hyundai Ioniq 5 'crab-walk', where it turned all four wheels 90-degrees in unison and, well, rolled like a crab into a theoretical parallel parking spot. 

It solves so many parking problems. No more pulling ahead of a space, slinging an arm over passenger head rest, craning your neck and then making multiple embarrassing attempts to park before driving off in a rage. 

Simply press a button to activate the mode you want and the onboard suite of sensors ensures you slide into that space with minimal fuss. 

The completely independent wheels also means the vehicle can move diagonally - forwards and backwards - and spin 180-degrees on a dime, or perform 'pivot turns', if you want the official line. 

A mix of short range and long-range Lidar systems have also been added to the concept, so the vehicle can recognise and avoid objects when performing its manoeuvres and do a bit of autonomous driving on the side. Sounds too far-fetched, right? Wrong, as the tech is pretty much ready to go.

Hyundai Mobis Mobion

(Image credit: Hyundai Mobis)

"The Mobion represents the embodiment of Hyundai Mobis' core technologies, all of which are ready for immediate mass production,"  Vice President Lee Seung-Hwan, the Head of Advanced Engineering at Hyundai Mobis confirmed.

The South Korean company has even thought of pedestrian safety, with an innovative "Ground Projection" system that takes puddle-lighting to the next level. 

Rather than just displaying a logo on the pavement to impress your friends, this system can project imagery and warnings 360-degrees around the car.

Handily, it projects strobing arrows when the vehicle is pivot turning, or indicates its direction of movement when crab-walking. What's more, it can even generate a crosswalk (or zebra crossing) onto the ground when pedestrians are detected. Although we’re not sure of the legalities on that one.

There is no official word on when we will witness the technology on the road, but Kia (another of Hyundai's brands) showcased a line of upcoming electric vans at CES, the smallest of which, the PV1, just so happened to 'crab-walk' into a parking space during a reveal video. A coincidence? We think not. 

Leon Poultney

Leon has been writing about automotive and consumer tech for longer than he cares to divulge. When he’s not testing the latest fitness wearable and action camera, he’s out in a shed fawning over his motorcycles or trying not to kill himself on a mountain bike/surfboard/other extreme thing. He's also a man who knows his tools, and he's provided much of T3's drills coverage over the years, all without injuring himself.