Verizon recently enlisted marketing agency Thinkmodo to promote its Hum, a telematics “dongle” that plugs into a car’s OBD II port and provides services like diagnostics, roadside assistance, and vehicle tracking for a monthly fee. So Thinkmodo decided to build a Jeep Grand Cherokee that can lift itself nine feet in the air and straddle other cars.
Thinkmodo wanted to create a literal representation of the upgrade drivers get by using a Hum, co-founder Michael Krivicka told Mashable. So it built a car that literally rises up. Get it?
Regardless, it is impressive to see a big SUV lift itself over other cars like something out of Inspector Gadget. To make that happen, Thinkmodo turned to Scott Beverly of A27fx. Beverly did visual effects for The Dark Knight, Inception, and Interstellar. A résumé of spaceships and Batmobiles seem like the perfect qualifications for this unusual job.
Turning an ordinary Grand Cherokee into a traffic-leaping marketing machine did take some doing. Most of the car’s system are powered by a gasoline Honda generator mounted underneath that pumps fluid through 300 feet of hydraulic lines. The Grand Cherokee’s structure also had to be reinforced, meaning the Hum Rider weighs in at a titanic 8,500 pounds. That lifting system had better be sturdy.
The driver can raise the body to its full height of nine feet with a switch on the dashboard. Four underbody cameras allow the driver to see what the Hum Rider is driving over, giving a whole new meaning to the phrase “surround-view camera system.” The Hum Rider is a one-off custom job, but it could be the ultimate vehicle for the driver who is very impatient — and not afraid of heights.
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