Hyundai Genesis Writes Message In Sand That Can Be Seen From Space

Hyundai Genesis Writes Message In Sand That Can Be Seen From Space
I usually cover connected car topics, but this one is a bit different. It involves a daughter connecting with her dad long-distance via vehicle-to-vehicle communication. Or in this case, over a very long distance and with many different vehicles to one that happens to be in space orbiting 200 miles above earth.

A 13-year-old named Stephanie wanted to send her dad, who works on the International Space Station, a note. But rather than transmitting it electronically, she had the help of Hyundai in sending it via tire tracks made in sand by nearly a dozen Genesis sedans, with the automaker setting a new Guinness’s World Record in the process.

The first step was to identify the ideal location “based on numerous geographical and meteorological factors,” Hyundai said in a statement. It also had to be large enough to write the massive message – which covers an area of more than two square miles, or equivalent to one and a half times the size of New York City’s Central Park – so that Stephanie’s dad could view it from space.

Hyundai “Message to Space.” Photo by Hyundai.
Hyundai “Message to Space.” Photo by Hyundai.

The Delamar Dry Lake in Nevada was selected, and Hyundai dispatched 11 Genesis sedans to the area’s flat, featureless desert floor, along with an international team that included a film crew, stunt drivers, surveyors and others. After the location was surveyed, the vehicles were fitted with special studded tires to make the tracks in the sand that could be seen from space.

The path of the vehicles had to be perfectly synchronized to recreate Stephanie’s original hand-written message. Everyone involved also had to hope for good weather, since rain and wind could easily wipe the message away, and clear skies so that Stephanie’s astronaut dad could read it from space.


The mission was not only successful since it could be seen by Stephanie’s dad, but was officially recognized as “the largest tire track image” ever by Guinness World Records. It also showed that cars can be used to connect not just to the “cloud” but even with people in space and, as Hyundai’s creative director on the project, Gunn Ho Park, says in a behind-the-scenes video, that “a car can be more than just a means of transportation.”


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