CES 2017: For Hyundai, There’s No Place Like Home

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Hyundai CES 2017

The car business has gotten more challenging for Hyundai lately, with market share losses and a mismatch between the brand’s expertise in sedans and its relative lack of SUVs and crossovers, which are today’s most popular vehicle types.

So the Korean automotive brand is turning toward the home as the next frontier in connectivity innovations regarding the automobile. At CES 2017, in fact, the company is demonstrating a huge variety of innovations that join mobility services with connected homes and even healthcare.

Hyundai’s vision of the future isn’t necessarily to turn its vehicles into self-driving living rooms but to integrate its cars with actual living rooms. Its Smart House concept uses connected car technologies to bridge living and working spaces.

So, for example, an owner can communicate via voice with Google Home inside a bedroom and tell the Hyundai Blue Link service to start the Hyundai vehicle in the garage and send a destination address to its navigation system.

Also, Hyundai showed a concept that literally integrates the home with the car by docking the vehicle through its driver-door portal—like a space station dockup in deep space. Then the car and home share things like air conditioning, seating and sound systems until the owner needs the vehicle to act like a vehicle and drives away in it.

In another interesting expression of its mobility vision, Hyundai also revealed the IONIQ Scooter.

Enabling drivers to continue their journey after parking or helping them to travel to public transit stations, the IONIQ Scooter is another innovation from Hyundai Motor’s long-term research and development program, Project IONIQ. The compact scooter is charged while it’s stored inside the front door of the IONIQ Electric, rather than the trunk.

To demonstrate its vision for autonomous vehicles, Hyundai chose CES 2017 to show a health and mobility cockpit concept in “an immersive virtual reality room,” as the company put it. The cockpit will “cultivate the well-being of drivers when commuting or traveling” through use of biometric sensors that can detect driver posture, respiratory rate, breathing depth, heart-rate variability and use eye tracking and facial feature recognition to gauge how alert a driver is—as well as his or her emotional state.

Hyundai CES 2017

In fact, the cockpit will offer “mood bursts” to attempt to raise alertness or induce calmness by adjusting the seat or activating its massage function—or even putting a whiff of a pleasing scent into the air, Ward’s Auto reported.

Delving further into the arena of health and well-being, Hyundai also is presenting the H-MEX, a medical “exoskeleton” that could help people with lower spinal-cord injuries regain the ability to walk, thanks to a wireless clutch with an on-board motion control system. Another kind of exoskeleton has “assistive torque” for those with muscular weakness and can support up to 88 pounds of a wearer’s weight.

Hyundai CES 2017

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