So far, when it comes to safety, automakers such as Hyundai Motor Group have used two different terms – ‘active’ and ‘passive’ safety features – to refer to each criterion.
A passive safety feature is a system that does not do any work until it is called to action. These systems are seat belts and airbags. These features evolved into active features, such as ABS(Anti-lock Brake System), or ADAS(Advanced Driver Assistance System) to minimize damage and reduce the risk of injury during the time of impact.
But, Now The automotive industry is entering The Era of M.E.C.A., unprecedented problems could emerge in the era of M.E.C.A., such as cyber-attacks on connected cars, network security issues, battery safety of electric vehicles, or autonomous car safety issues.
This is why most of the automakers in the world are trying very hard to come up with brand-new safety strategies. However, it feels almost impossible to predict all kinds of safety problems. And Hyundai Motor Group seeks to build its own safety strategy for this reason.
Hyundai Motor Group’s safety strategy comprises two conventional safety features – active and passive features – and four new safety features, which are passenger monitoring, pollution control, safety exit assist, and advanced remote maintenance services.
Here’s what Hyundai is doing to prepare for the era of M.E.C.A.
Passenger Monitoring System for their Health
There was a news report, back in last September, about a 60-year old driver in diabetic shock right before a crash. A severe dip in his blood sugar caused him to plow in Busan, South Korea.
Health is of the utmost importance when drivers get stressed and tired. Such a ‘Passenger Monitoring System’ measures the driver’s vital signs to provide health information while also offering care for the driver by linking up with convenience and safety systems.
What if the driver was in a car with passenger monitoring features? A series of sensors throughout the car could have monitored the physical and mental state of the driver, detecting everything from the driver’s heart rate to their respiratory rate and stress level.
Vehicles in the future will be health-conscious vehicles, connecting mobility and wellness by creating in-car conditions that increase focus or relaxation. Preemptive response and consideration for the health of the driver and passengers are essential to easily and comfortably enjoy the new mobility experience. The technology will help to ensure driver safety by activating emergency rescue services if a health threat is detected, not only for patients with chronic diseases but also for healthy passengers.
The Health Care Technology in the vehicle measures the driver’s heart rate and stress level with sensors installed in the steering wheel and seat backrests. The touch sensor in the steering wheel can specifically measure the stress level of the driver. For passengers, touch sensors in the doorknob will do the trick.
The Future Vehicle to Ensure Safety and Health
The sensors can track the alertness and emotional state of the driver and the passengers. To promote mental awareness and focus, the car could then respond by delivering a customized multi-sensory experience that can work as mood therapy.
For many, the daily commute leads to stress, frustration, and the feeling of wasted time. The state-of-the-art and much more accurate 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.
In the near future, a series of sensors throughout the car could monitor the physical and mental state of the driver, detecting everything from the driver’s posture to their respiratory rate and breathing depth. Also, the car could measure heart-rate variability for stress response, and use eye-tracking and facial feature recognition to track alertness and emotional state. Then the car would activate Driver Status Warning(DSW) or Driver Awareness Warning(DAW) to send an alert to the driver.
The system also has a more active feature. e-Call is a system giving an automatic message to an emergency call center when the system thinks the driver needs help.
The ultimate goal of the safety strategy of Hyundai Motor Group is to actively intervene for the drivers’ sake. If none of the alerts work, the vehicle will activate the safety feature(DEA) to take control of the car and safely pull over. This will be a huge asset in the era of semi-autonomous driving cars.
Pollution Control for Air Purification
Climate pollutants are becoming the nemesis of the drivers’ health. All we could do so far was to close the windows and turn on the recirculation button.
Hyundai Motor Group is going to present the future air-purifying function that can be activated automatically to ensure a clean and fresh environment inside the vehicle. The New Grandeur and the third-generation K5 have already an air purification system that maintains a pleasant indoor atmosphere (through fine dust sensor, filtering 99% of fine dust from outside).
A fine dust sensor will monitor the quality of the air inside the car in real-time, offering constant updates on air quality on the screen. Once the fine dust concentration reaches a certain point, the air-purifying function will be activated automatically to ensure a clean and fresh environment inside the vehicle. This feature is likely to evolve even further; after the engine is off, the after-blow feature will clean the air and eliminate odor.
The system will become very useful for car-sharing services, especially when fully autonomous vehicles begin to do everything on behalf of humans. The predictions of sci-fi movies will come true soon.
Safety Exit Assist for Passenger Safety
The fourth-generation Santa Fe released back in February 2018 has a brand-new technology. The Rear Occupant Alert monitors the rear seats using an ultrasonic sensor that helps to detect the movements of children or animal pets. The system first reminds drivers to check the rear seats when exiting the vehicle with a message on the center instrument cluster display.
If the system detects movement in the rear seats after the driver leaves the vehicle, it will honk the horn, flash the lights and send a Blue Link alert to the driver’s smartphone via Hyundai’s Blue Link connected car system.
The second stage of Hyundai’s system is designed to provide an extra layer of protection. If the vehicle is locked and the ultrasonic sensor detects movement in the rear seat, the horn will honk on and off for approximately 25 seconds. If the alert is not disabled by unlocking the vehicle and opening the rear door, and the sensor detects movement again, the horn will sound for another 25 seconds. This sequence will be performed up to eight times.
The good news is that this system will keep evolving for even more accurate detection through various kinds of high-tech sensors.
There is one more feature that could ensure the safety of the passengers in the back. Safe Exit Assist prevents the kind of accidents that can occur when car doors are opened as other vehicles are approaching from behind.
Safety Exit Assist uses radar to detect that vehicle and override you if you attempt to deactivate the Electronic Child Safety Lock, issuing an acoustic and visual warning as it does so.
The rear door the passenger is trying to open remains locked until the vehicle approaching from behind has passed by, averting a potentially lethal accident. When the road is clear, the Electronic Child Safety Lock can now be deactivated and the passengers can open the door and exit the vehicle safely. The system is on for ten minutes even after the engine is off, and the smart key can deactivate the system right away after it locks the car doors.
In the future, children could ride alone in an autonomous self-driving car. Then the safety features such as the Electronic Child Safety Lock or the Rear Occupant Alert will prevent such unexpected tragedies.
Connectivity Technology Makes Advanced Remote Maintenance Service Come True
Conventional cars are about to be upgraded to connected cars, which are literally connected with other vehicles, traffic systems, and communication infrastructures. The advanced software platform will process vast amounts of data quickly and ultimately enable great connected services in the near future.
The technologies for better connectivity will provide everything you need to take care of your car including in-vehicle service reminders and service scheduling, diagnostic alerts, or a vehicle health report, and sometimes it will share information of the vehicle with service centers nearby for better maintenance.
The increase in connected cars will lead to the collection of huge amounts of data on many things including vehicle usage patterns. The collected “big data” will then be analyzed to create new features that can be updated as soon as they are made available. Customers will be able to experience the latest features and services and that’s what makes connected cars so attractive.
Besides, Over-the-air update, which updates software and data on the vehicle system without having to visit a service center and connect the vehicle to a PC, will automatically deal with every single problem the car faces.
Other than that, the Hyundai Motor Group’s safety strategy is going to cover a lot of issues that we could not even have imagined. It won’t take long until its customers could enjoy all the technologies they need. Such brand-new safety features will emerge in the upcoming century.