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10 New Technologies Onboard the New Sonata


The new Sonata is ambitiously redefining the industry standard for what a mid-size sedan has to offer. The assortment of latest technological advancements gives it a head start.

The new Sonata features a myriad of latest technologies that are set to change our way of life

A pattern of new technologies across autonomously-driven concept cars presented by leaders in the automobile industry can provide a sense of where the future will lead. Those patterns not only show what the engineers define as comfort, and how they intend to deliver it, but also how rapidly certain new technologies are likely to enter the mainstream. Concept cars are named just that because they are an embodiment of a concept, not reality. There is always some distance between a concept car and what is currently achievable.

As the latest iteration, the eighth-generation Sonata is in many ways the model embodiment of Hyundai’s technological vanguard. From minute details on entry and exit, to the carefully considered comforts on the road, the new Sonata offers a proverbial gift basket of technology-powered conveniences. Today, we take a look at the latest technological applications under the hood of the new Sonata.

Hyundai Digital Key

This is a completely unique key. Hyundai Digital Key utilizes NFC (Near Field Communication) protocols on the smartphone, where the keys are digitally embedded into the smartphone. This means that the driver’s smartphone is all that is needed to open the doors, turn the ignition, and drive around town, even when the physical keys are back home. Hyundai Blue Link, a connected vehicle system using embedded telematics can also turn the ignition without a key, but it did not allow driving. The Hyundai Digital Key is fundamentally different.

Up to three three copies of the Hyundai Digital Key may be created and used irrespective of distance. This means that family members can share using the car even when the physical keys are left at home. Duplicating car keys will be a thing of the past; just discuss who needs to use the car when. All you need is a smartphone.

*Apple iPhones do not support Hyundai Digital Key Service, as Apple Korea’s policy currently restricts iPhone NFC functionality. The service will become available to iPhone users when Apple changes its policy regarding NFC. Dedicated physical NFC cards are available for the interim.

Personalized profile

The Hyundai Digital Key also offers a personalization feature. When the driver takes seat in the Sonata using the Hyundai Digital Key, the seat position, infotainment system, and other equipment settings are adjusted according to the driver’s preset profile. Presets include settings for driver-specific navigation settings and recent destinations, radio statoins, and other multimedia settings.

Smart Posture Control System & Passenger-side Comfort Seat

The Smart Posture Control System on the new Sonata extrapolates and adjusts to the optimal seat position based on the weight, height, and seated height provided by the driver The technology finds the optimal seating position for relieving stress on the spine, and even analyzes the driver’s current posture to give a prognosis on how it will affect the person’s health. If driving often caused a sore back, this may be just for you. Once the Smart Posture Control System understands the seated height of the driver, it also adjusts the side mirrors and the HUD.

The Passenger-side Comfort Seat is also a great addition to the cabin. The Comfort Seat offers a relaxing resting position by dispersing load away from the lumbar and pelvis. The comfort chair’s resting position was inspired by NASA’s zero-gravity posture which is the most comfortable position a human body can be in. A single press of a button changes the seat’s backrest and cushion from a standard seated position to recline and tilt into a zero-gravity position. The button is under the passenger seat to the right, and the left-side bolster also has a button facing the driver’s seat, allowing the driver to conveniently adjust the passenger seat.

Kakao i, a server-based speech-recognition system

The new Sonata comes with an AI assistant smartest among all domestic models. 

The AI assistant works from a cloud-based data house and is capable of understanding the driver’s utterances and responding in a smart, spoken, natural language. There is no manual manipulation involved. Just by verbal recognition, the driver can access information on news briefings, today’s weather, film and TV info, stock prices, general knowledge, sports events, real-time trending keywords, language translation, horoscope, road navigation, and air conditioning. For instance, on days where fine dust has been causing trouble, asking Kakao i “what is the fine dust concentration level in Yangjae-dong,” and the assistant will tell the driver the fine dust readings from that region. Gone are the days of trying to catch the weather forecast on the radio.

12.3-inch Full LCD Cluster dashboard

Speed and RPM with dashboard needles are now in the past. Digital clusters offer greater visibility and far greater information density. From the passenger seat, the space looks far more luxurious. The new Sonata is equipped with a 12.3-inch Full LCD Cluster. The new Sonata certainly outdid its own class with this amazing upgrade.

The spacious 10.25-inch interactive navigation screen is another immersive factor that adds to the driving experience. The screen is superbly easy to read and usng the Blue Link app, the driver can even set navigation destinations. The screen also supports OTA (Over The Air) navigation, and wireless Bluetooth multi-connection for 2 smartphones.

DVRS (Drive Video Record System)

The built-in cam on the front and rear sides feeds live video of the driving environment to the 10.25-inch infotainment monitor. Built-in cams can be installed without removing interior trimming, making it ideal for owners who prefer the unintrusive look. The cams capture highly-visible videos even in dark settings such as during the night or in dark tunnels. Videos of amazing or important moments can be rewatched immediately in the car, or the smartphone app, without having to move the video file to a separate device. 

Built-in cams support zoom playback and time-lapse recording. Stored video recordings can be shared directly to social media using a smartphone app. Car owners who enjoy natural scenery will surely favorite this feature to share it with friends and family.

BVM (Blind-spot View Monitor)

Any sensible driver knows what a lane-change accident is, either vicariously or by unfortunate experience. Lane-change accidents are often caused because of blind spots. Of course, safety features such as rear collision warning and prevention systems use light and sound to alert the the driver of dangers in the blind spot. However, such warning systems are bound to be slower than direct visual cues. Accidents occur in a blink of an eye. The real-time video feed to the BVM on the dashboard allows the driver to respond much quicker.

The BVM displays a 50-degree field view of the rear area of the vehicle, on the 12.3-inch dashboard screen, between the speedometer and the tachometer. Standard side-mirrors provide only a 25-degree field of view, so the BVM covers a much larger angle of view. The BVM provides a clear view of the rear even when raining, vastly improving safety.

BOSE Premium Sound System

An automobile is a convenient means for personal transport, and also a space for rest and relaxation. Music can bring a lot to that experience, soothing the heart and mind, sometimes even bringing joy. The latest advancements in ride quality and quietness have made the music-experience better than ever before. The new Sonata features the first cooperative effort between Hyundai and BOSE to deliver a truly exceptional, head-turning sound.

The Sonata’s sound system features twelve speakers embedded around the interior of the Sonata. Bose Centerpoint technology analyzes the standard stereo signal to converts it into multiple channels for surround-sound listening. The sound system is also equipped with Dynamic Speed Compensation, which automatically adjusts the volume and tone of music based on vehicle speed and reduces the need for drivers to make adjustments on the road. With so much care and thought going into maximizing the music-listening experience, the droll of the highway can be replaced with the aural pleasure of a concert hall. 

Safety Exit Assist & Rear Occupant Alert

Imagine returning home with your familly in tow at the end of a busy day. You park the Sonata at the entrance so that your spouse and child can get off first. Just as the passenger side door opens, the SEA (Safety Exit Assist) sounds off, indicating danger, while a warning message flashes on the dashboard screen. The SEA sensed a vehicle approaching from the rear. You avoided what could have been a dire catastrophy. You are just thankful that your child in the rear seat was not the first to try to exit. The SEA did its job well.

If there is an occupant in the rear passenger seat, the ROA (Rear Occupant Alert) prompts the driver on the dashboard as the driver-side door opens. Even after you miss this prompt because of a phonecall or some other urgent engagement, the hypersonic sensors within the new Sonata will pick up movement in the rear passenger seat and set off the horns and blink the hazard lights for 25 seconds. Blue Link users can also be notified via text message, if there is movement in the rear passenger set. It is a surprisingly considerate feature on the new Sonata.

Remote Smart Parking Assist

RSPA (Remote Smart Parking Assist) enables the new Sonata to  autonomously park or retrieve itself from a parking space with or without a driver in the car. RSPA utilizes advanced technology to autonomously park into narrow spaces, or use in situations where the rear trunk needs to be accessed while the car parked in a confined space.

The autonmated parking and retrieval technology is easy to use. 

Align the car with the parking space, and exit. Once the doors are shut, press the forward/reverse button on the smart key to move the car as desired. Voila! That’s it. No need to worry about opening your doors into your neighbor’s car. No need to get stressed about parking.

The new Sonata as a smart mobility device

From entry to exit, we looked into the amazing technologies implemented in the new Sonata. Although not mentioned here, ADAS (Advanced Driver Assistance System) is one of many cutting-edge safety tech features in the new Sonata, that will keep the whole family safe, whether on the road or in the driveway. The new Sonata is much more than a spacious medium-sized sedan; it truly is the embodiment of the next generation smart mobility device.