Hyundai Motor envisions an interactive and partly virtual future in what it calls “metamobility,” in which a variety of robotic devices interact with humans to provide a wide range of mobility services, from automated personal transport to remote control of factories.

Hyundai officials, led by chief executive Yusun Chung, expanded the vision during a press conference at the annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas on Tuesday.

With BuzzWords aside, Hyundai plans to take advantage of its growing expertise in robotics and artificial intelligence to create mobility networks in the future that connect humans to objects and functions in the virtual world in the real world.

The concept is linked to the so-called Metavers, a term coined by author Neil Stephenson 30 years ago, but only recently caught the attention of social media company Facebook when it was renamed Meta Platforms Inc.

It refers to a shared virtual environment. The world that people can access through the internet and they can use virtual reality or augmented reality. Hyundai offers several examples of how Metavers and the real world can connect:

– A vehicle that can be converted into a workplace or entertainment room that includes a 3D video game platform.

– A “smart” factory where humans from outside the plant remotely control robots interacting with machines and products inside the plant.

– Automatic personal transport devices for people with disabilities or individuals who want to maintain social distance while traveling.

To make all this work, the automaker said it is building a mobility of things ecosystem that will link modular robotic platforms to perform various mobility services.

A module called Plug & Drive or PnD is a single-wheel robotics platform that combines intelligent steering, braking and suspension with in-wheel electric drive, camera and leader sensor for automated operation.

For larger logistics tasks and other mobility services, Hyundai may bundle up to four PnD modules, including an application that connects to Robot Dog – what else? – Spot.

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