If the idea of a walking car sounds like science fiction, well, that’s because it is — for now. Hyundai has been working on several, which it refers to as UMVs or Ultimate Mobility Vehicles, and now, the company announced Thursday, it’s spending big money on a research center to continue their development.
The center will be located at Montana State University in Bozeman, Montana, and will be called. It will be built at the Innovation campus of Montana State at a cost of approximately $20 million.
“Montana is quickly becoming a hub for high-tech companies and entrepreneurs with a growing talent pool of skilled labor in the field of engineering, research and natural science,” John Suh, head of New Horizons Studio and vice president for Hyundai Motor Group, said in a statement. “Bozeman is a thriving and economic micropolitan city. Nestled near dozens of off-road trails with more than 150 miles of terrain and mountain access for UMV testing — it’s the perfect fit for our new R&D Lab.”
Hyundai says this new 12,000-to-15,000 square-foot research and development facility will employ around 50 people when it’s completed, with the ground-breaking to take place in June of this year.
If this seems like a lot of money to spend on something as seemingly fanciful as walking cars, you’re not the only one to think that, but if we don’t start here, how will we ever get to full-on Voltrons?