Hyundai Expands Tech Repertoire at CES, Shows “Production-Ready” Head-Up Display and Autonomous Features

Hyundai might not have brought a driverless tadpole-shaped thing to CES, and nor did it wow crowds with wildly curved televisions. What Hyundai did show at the 2015 Consumer Electronics Show, however, was just as exciting—at least for Hyundai’s future. The company announced it is working on a host of semiautonomous and driver-assistance technologies, but more importantly, it said those technologies are just around the corner.
Hyundai has been busy at CES these past few years, prototyping everything from gesture-based control systems to dorky Google Glass integration. In 2013, the automaker paraded a neat augmented-reality head-up display in front of CES showgoers; that HUD is now being billed as “production ready.” The system goes beyond today’s typical HUD setup by incorporating dynamic animations into the driver’s field of vision. Similar in concept to Jaguar’s experimental augmented reality, Hyundai’s system displays navigation prompts that appear as arrows flowing over the road, guiding you through turns and onto exit ramps with more precision; highlights street signs; and detects and illuminates vehicles likely to pull out into your path. None of these features seem far-fetched, especially given how the current Genesis sedan’s HUD already supplies speed, (non-augmented-reality) navigation prompts, and warnings for the forward-collision, blind-spot detection, and lane-departure systems.
There’s more, too. Hyundai is working on a wearable band that, when linked to the HUD, can vibrate to indicate an impending collision or lane-departure event. The wearable, as Hyundai calls it, will even be capable of monitoring the driver’s heart rate and dialing 9-1-1 if a dangerous shift in the driver’s heart rate is detected. Further integration could lead to an “Emergency Stop” feature that Hyundai also is working on; in the event the driver is incapacitated, the car will steer itself toward the shoulder, activate the flashers, and come to a safe stop.
Other driving aids that are claimed to have a “high probability of being production ready in the near future” include remote automatic parking as well as V2P (vehicle-to-pedestrian), V2I (vehicle-to-infrastructure), and V2V (vehicle-to-vehicle) communication. A host of new driver aids is also likely—some of which mirror those being worked on by Audi and Mercedes-Benz—such as a fully autonomous highway functions for low- and high-speed scenarios, a weather-and-road-condition-dependent speed-control feature, Intersection Movement Assist (a sort of cross-traffic alert system for intersections), and pedestrian-collision detection with automatic braking. One driver aid that, to us, toes the line between useful and silly is “Narrow Path Assist,” which takes over steering when the vehicle finds itself on a narrow street or threading down a tight alley. Like parking, this seems like something drivers should just know how to do, but maybe Europeans will dig it.
Finally, Hyundai’s Keeping Up With the Germans effort is capped off by a novel tablet-based rear-seat entertainment system. Similar to the tablet-controlled infotainment system Audi debuted at last year’s CES, Hyundai’s setup pairs one or two tablets with the central infotainment head unit, allowing passengers to enter navigation destinations, conduct point-of-interest searches, change audio settings, and even manipulate the climate-control system. Mounts on the front seatbacks would allow rear-seat passengers to simply watch or tap away at their tablets, too.

So set your clocks, folks—Hyundai is bringing the big tech guns to market. And soon. Given how the Genesis sedan was just redesigned this past year, we’re willing to bet that the next-generation, range-topping Equus luxury sedan would usher these futuristic new features into production.

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