An Ioniq 5 car with rotating wheels

Hyundai debuts car that can drive sideways

Car manufacturer Hyundai has revealed an Ioniq 5 car with wheels that can rotate up to 90 degrees so that it can "crab" drive sideways at this year's Consumer Electronics Show.

Developed by Hyundai Motor Group's car parts producer arm Hyundai Mobis, the technology was showcased on a real vehicle for the first time on the electric Ioniq 5 car, which was on display at Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2023.

Hyundai Mobis has integrated sideways driving into an Ioniq 5

The concept, which was first unveiled at CES 2018, enables vehicles to move forwards and backwards like a traditional vehicle or sideways and diagonally.

It works by integrating a mobility system that the brand has dubbed an "e-Corner module" or "e-Corner system" which allows the car to be driven sideways when the wheels are turned 90 degrees.

An Ioniq 5 dirving sideways
The technology was demonstrated at CES in Las Vegas

"The e-Corner module is a technology that combines steering, braking, suspension and drive systems into a wheel," Hyundai Mobis told Dezeen.

Each wheel has its own independent electric motor and is connected to a new suspension system, which allows the driver to steer each wheel independently.

Hyundai Mobis' Ioniq 5 car at CES
The e-Corner system enables a new style of parallel parking

In a video released by Hyundai Mobis, the Ioniq 5 car can be seen completing manoeuvres such as moving diagonally and spinning in one direction on the spot while the front two wheels remain in the same position.

The technology was also shown on a concept model vehicle unveiled by Hyundai Mobis at this year's CES.

Hyundai Mobis claims that the technology will allow cars to parallel park easily and change direction more swiftly, which could be beneficial in crowded areas.

"It [the e-Corner system] allows 90-degree rotation of the wheel when needed, for example, parking and enables crab – sideways – driving and zero-turn, which means rotation without moving forward or backwards," the brand said.

"It is also expected to increase the agility of a vehicle running through the narrow streets of the city and accordingly improve the urban driving environment."

Three Hyundai Mobis vehicle tyres
The wheels can independently rotate up to 90 degrees

Hyundai Mobis said it expected the e-Corner module to be integrated into commercial car production as early as 2025.

Other automotive giants that took their car technology for a spin at the 2023 Consumer Electronics Show include German auto manufacturer BMW and electronics company Sony.

BMW unveiled an updated version of its colour-changing car technology with a concept car that can change from black and white into 32 colours.

Meanwhile, Sony and carmaker Honda showcased an electric car prototype that will function as a "moving entertainment space".

CES 2023 took place in Las Vegas from 5 to 8 January 2023. See Dezeen Events Guide for an up-to-date list of architecture and design events taking place around the world.

The images are courtesy of Hyundai Mobis.