Driving requires an individual's motor, visual, and hearing skills to be excellent, at least. But what if for some reason, someone has the first two down pat, but has difficulty with the third: hearing? Hyundai Motor Group saw this gap and is now rolling out a system that will help hearing-impaired individuals get behind the wheel and be just as productive, capable, and safe drivers like the rest.
In a bid to deliver true “freedom of mobility”, Hyundai Motor Group (HMG) came up with innovative technology that assists hearing-impaired drivers. Since they are dependent mainly on sight and touch, HMG created a way of communication that incorporates both internal and external sounds through tactile and visual means. Utilizing artificial intelligence that analyzes sound patterns, two separate driving assist systems work together to translate them to visual and tactile cues.
The first of which is called the Audio-Visual Conversion (AVC). This allows communication with the external environment through visual portrayals of sound patterns, such as warning sounds of emergency vehicles, as pictograms on the head-up display (HUD). The steering wheel is also equipped with multi-colored LEDs which indicate navigational information while driving.
Audio-Tactile Conversion (ATC) is the second system. A bit simpler than AVC, this transfers the sound data into vibrations through the steering wheel, notifying the driver of information about external environments such as distance from obstacles.
On paper, it all sounds like a great and innovative idea. In reality, it is. As you may have seen from the video above, this revolutionary system helps bring inclusion into society well within reach. Regardless of physical limitations, Hyundai has given challenged individuals a chance to be like the rest of us. Your move, other automakers.