Among the many high-tech features designed to make the upcoming GMC Hummer EV all-electric pickup truck as effective as possible off-road is one called CrabWalk mode. GMC has uploaded a video of a virtual Hummer EV CrabWalking through four types of terrain to its Instagram page, with the comment, “The revolution charges forward, diagonally.”
CrabWalk is possible thanks to the Hummer EV’s four-wheel steering (4WS) system. When the mode is selected, all four wheels turn in the same direction in response to driver input of the steering wheel. The vehicle is then able to move diagonally in a straight line, instead of in a circle.
The principle is not new, but dates back at least to the 1980s. However, high-performance cars with 4WS generally have their wheels pointing in the same direction at higher speeds for enhanced agility. At low speeds, the convention is for the front and rear wheels to point in opposite directions, reducing the turning radius.
The Hummer EV can do this too, but CrabWalk is a better solution in off-road situations, because the vehicle does not have to turn at all. It can simply avoid trouble by moving away from it almost sideways. This will also be helpful to Hummer EV owners who park on a city street and return to find that other drivers have parked their own vehicles too close to it.
In its video, GMC does not show CrabWalk being used in an urban environment. Instead, the Hummer EV is shown moving diagonally on dirt, on sand, through a river and across rocks. The video is a rendering, rather than real-life footage, but we think it looks pretty good.
Earlier this month, we shared a video showing an actual Hummer EV being tested on real snow. That video included a few seconds of the truck in CrabWalk mode. It’s worth a look, so feel free to check it out, but first take a look at the rendering, and enjoy.
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