How the Hum Rider can be real and fake all at once


It is not a great sign when you see something and your first instinct is to yell , "FAKE!" at the top of your lungs, but this stunt was real. A2ZFX, the fabricators behind those Mini Cooper-based Red Bull adver-cars, really did build an SUV that uses hydrolics to rise up and drive over traffic for this marketing stunt.

You may have seen the video already, and it seems to have divided everyone into two camps. The first camp dreams of a day when they too could effortlessly rise above traffic and never be stuck again. The second accuses the stunt of being a total fake using CGI.

The reality is in-between. This stunt was absolutely real. Staged, yes, but a physical SUV really did rise up and drive over traffic. How do we know? Look VERY closely at the wheels as the car rises up.

This is the part that usually invited the screams of, "Fake!" As the track widens to clear the width of the cars it is about to pass over, there is a suspicious lack of skid marks, noise and tire deflection that would normally occur when forcing a tire sideways under a reported 8,000 lbs of pressure.


When you look closer, you can see that both times the car widens, there is an almost imperceptible small shadow underneath the tires that are shuffling sideways. This is some sort of coaster to allow the sideways movement. The coasters are then removed before the truck begins to drive forward and no more shadow is visible after the next cut.

Notice the cut between widening and rising:

Look VERY closely and you can tell the moving tires are on some sort of coaster:


So kudos on the marketing team to make this crazy thing really work, but it would never work in the real world for many reasons. The biggest being that getting out to jack up the car to place and remove coasters each time kind of ruins the whole "convenience factor."

Related: Tilt Shift Photography Makes a Real Race Look Very Fake