As safe as vehicles are structurally, it doesn’t do anyone any good if the driver is unfit to be behind the wheel.
Well, Hyundai’s new concept, the ‘Health + Mobility Cockpit’ unveiled at the 2017 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, is designed to monitor the driver’s ‘health and related indicators to help manage the stress and other negative effects of driving.’
It works with a series of sensors in the cockpit that keeps an eye on the physical and mental state of the driver, monitoring everything from the posture to respiratory rate and breathing depth.
The system also measures heart-rate variability for stress response and uses eye tracking and facial feature recognition to track alertness and emotional state.
Monitoring is great but it won’t do the driver any good if nothing is done to fix the problem. That’s where this concept shows its worth.
The Health + Mobility Cockpit will deliver ‘Mood Bursts’ that is designed to ‘create a variety of physical and mental responses.’
If the sensors detect that the driver is losing concentration, an ‘Alert Burst’ is sent out to get their focus back.
Traffic getting the best of the driver? A ‘Calm Burst’ is activated to increase relaxation.
Aside from factory setting ‘bursts’, these can be personalized and choreographed to achieve the maximum and desired effect on the driver.
‘Mood Bursts’ also combine two or more of the features below to elicit a positive response from the driver:
Posture - In response to data that suggests the driver is losing focus or alertness, the driver’s seat can automatically adjust to a more upright position. Alternatively, if sensors detect driver discomfort or agitation, activate pneumatic lumbar systems can massage the driver’s lower back to promote relaxation.
Scent - Combining a range of different scents can elicit a variety of driver responses as deemed necessary by the health and wellness monitoring systems. For example, lavender or eucalyptus-based aromas can calm a driver, while smells such as cedar or peppermint can energize and invigorate the senses.
Light - In the same way as dawn stimulates the senses to wake the body, varying levels of warm and cool lighting can spread across the dashboard to impact alertness and mood.
Temperature - Contrasting temperatures can calm or invigorate the driver as required, so the Healthcare Cockpit can sense the ambient temperature of the car and direct cooler or warmer air towards the driver to alter responsiveness or enhance comfort.
Sound - One of the most effective sensory micro experiences utilizes sound to engage the driver’s senses or to deescalate a stressful environment. The car’s music and radio applications are able to sync with the Healthcare Cockpit’s sensors to create relaxed or dynamic environments. Alongside the type of sounds played, volume can increase during an ‘Alert Burst’, while softer, acoustic music can be paired with a ‘Calm Burst’.
The concept also assists in eliminating distractions from inside the cabin to make sure that the driver is safe and productive by integrating smartphone applications, hands-free connection, a one-touch recording system to that the driver can capture ideas when inspiration strikes and a robust voice-command feature.
“For many the daily commute leads to stress, frustration, and the feeling of wasted time. In addition to automating the driving task, technology can also be used to shift a driver’s state of mind by creating conditions that cultivate a safer and healthier mental state, boosting their focus or helping them relax while traveling so that drivers might be less fatigued when arriving at their destination,” said John Suh, Head of Hyundai Venture.