Rotating wheel technology for parallel parking
Hyundai Mobis has disclosed its 90-degree rotating wheel, which it expects would enable sideways driving, in-place rotation, and parallel parking. Photo courtesy of Hyundai Mobis

South Korean part maker develops 90-degree rotating wheel

As the number of vehicles continues to go up, many motorists have a hard time finding a place to park in big cities. They sometimes struggle to park their cars in narrow spaces.

Things would be different if parallel parking is possible. However, traditional automobiles cannot offer such maneuverability because their wheels typically allow rotation of about 30 degrees.

Against this backdrop, South Korean auto component maker Hyundai Mobis announced this week that it had developed a 90-degree rotating wheel named “e-corner module.”

The Seoul-based company predicts that the new technology will bring about such new concepts as parallel parking, in-place rotation, and sideways driving.

Hyundai Mobis, a unit of Korea’s top automaker Hyundai Motor, first disclosed the technology in 2008 during the Consumer Electronics Show at Las Vegas.

The company expects that its new technology will prompt automakers to come up with innovative models.

“The biggest advantage of the e-corner module is that it does not require any mechanical connection between parts, which thereby allows a better use of space within vehicle,” a Hyundai Mobis official said.

“Not only does it make it easier to change the wheelbase, but it also ensures much more flexibility in designing the direction of door sand the size of the vehicle.”

Hyundai Mobis said that it will purpose-built vehicles to check the viability of the e-corner module by mid-decade after developing a skateboard module by 2023.

Observers are less optimistic about the future of the e-corner module.

“We need to check how the new solution will improve real-world vehicle performance. Automakers and end consumers would keep a close eye on it,” Daelim University Prof. Kim Pil-soo said.