Are Hyundai and Kia Aiming to CrabWalk, Too?
A new patent approved on April 28 from the United States Patent and Trademark Office shows that Hyundai and Kia are working on their own version of GMC Hummer EV’s CrabWalk or Rivian’s Tank Turn on their own. The patent says that it’s for a new method and system for controlling an “in-situ rotation mode” of a four-wheel independent steering type vehicle.
In the patent, the company says that the new four-wheel steering system is designed around “in-situ rotation,” which means that each wheel would turn independently up to 45 degrees in any direction. This would allow a vehicle to turn 360 degrees from a stop, enter and leave parallel parking easily, and critically keep up with the competition’s off-road ballets.
What vehicles could get the new system?
Presumably, Hyundai and Kia could adapt the system for any vehicle. But the way the wheels seem to rotate independently, it would make sense that it would be for an electric vehicle. And, with the company’s new EV9 SUV and EV6 SUV coming to production soon, it would makes sense that on the four-motor platform they would add four-wheel-steering to keep up with the other four-wheel-steering off-road SUVs.
Of course, there has been a lot of talk about Kia and Hyundai developing a new pickup truck, and one that could take on the Rivian R1T at that. Maybe this is a hint at that vehicle’s four-wheel-steer system?
What is the GMC Hummer’s CrabWalk function?
Maybe you saw the Super Bowl commercial with Lebron James in the Hummer doing the CrabWalk? It shows his Hummer EV moving parallel to where it’s pointed.
According to the GMC Hummer EV’s manual, “CrabWalk Mode: Allows the driver to turn the rear wheels at the same angle as the front wheels enabling the vehicle to move diagonally. … At higher speeds the front and rear wheels will turn in the same direction. This improves stability of the vehicle during lane changes and wide turns”
Interestingly, when you enter CrabWalk Mode on the Hummer, a diagram of a crab shows up on the dash. The Hyundai/Kia version, however, would turn each wheel, while the GMCs mode turns each axle.
What is the Rivian R1T’s Tank Turn?
Customers are getting deliveries of their first Rivian R1T electric trucks. They’re quickly gaining fame as expensive flips on vehicle auction sites and are showing up on celebrity Instagram feeds, too.
But off-roaders are more interested what the four-wheel-drive truck can do in the dirt, not on Rodeo drive. One of the key features of the Rivian R1T is the Tank Turn, which allows the trucks to do a 360-degree spin in the dirt. Tanks turn by turning one tread in the opposite direction of the other. The Rivian basically does that, but with the wheels. The above video shows a truck spinning, and spinning, and spinning.
RELATED: Tesla’s Cybertruck Will Have 4 Wheel Steering Like Hummer’s Crab Mode