Le Fil Rouge hints at future Hyundai technology and design directions
Alongside alternative-fueled and -powered production variants of current Hyundai models, the Korean manufacturer’s glimpse into the future came via its concept, Le Fil Rouge. Research within the automaker has proven that design is the number one reason given for choosing a Hyundai; that, it says, is why such an emphasis is placed on it to be daring, bold, and different to anyone else in the market.
With the Le Fil Rouge concept, Hyundai says it has managed to bring together four elements: proportions; architecture; styling; and technology. The overall aim is to “reduce the design boundaries between form and function”—something that has been an ongoing issue between engineering, design, and marketing departments probably since they existed in the automotive world! To overcome these issues, a Hyundai spokesperson says it has gone back in time and taken inspiration from a 1974 concept of its Coupe and aimed to “transfer the DNA to a new range of vehicles” in a package that the Korean manufacturer is calling “Sensuous Sportiness.”
Away from the design, the concept debuts Hyundai’s Intelligent Personal Cockpit—a nod to the growing importance of connected-car technology and featuring the latest application of the Internet of Things (IoT) and voice recognition/artificial intelligence (AI). This new voice-recognition technology has been developed by SoundHound, a leading name in AI, and allows drivers to control frequently used in-vehicle functions such as air-conditioning, sunroofs, and door locks with their voice.
The future plan is for an entire suite of voice controls to be available in the Intelligent Personal Cockpit. This includes car-to-home IoT capability, which broadens voice-control applications beyond mobile devices and into the home environment. This connectivity will therefore allow drivers to control lighting in the house and stream the same music—at the same time—in the house and the car.
Another feature of Intelligent Personal Cockpit is Wellness Care. Two sensors are placed in the car: one on the steering wheel and one on the seat. These sensors monitor heart rate for sudden changes and may detect driver stress level. If the sensors detect stress, the system is equipped to take action and provide access to online visual consultation with a doctor or simply turn on a soothing playlist while dimming the cabin lighting for a more comfortable driving experience.
Two additional features of the cockpit have been developed by Hyundai’s in-house startup called Tune!t. The Smart Tuning Package enables the cockpit to turn into a personalized space where the seat position is adjusted to the driver’s height and music is chosen to their preference using wireless IoT technology. In addition, technology has been developed that allows a door to be opened simply by knocking it twice.
As well as SoundHound, Hyundai has enlisted the help of Cisco, in this instance to assist on the development of technology solutions surrounding in-vehicle data demands. These demands are expected to increase exponentially with autonomous driving and other connectivity needs of the automotive industry. So Hyundai and Cisco have created a platform that provides highly secure access to all the data in the vehicle. The platform uses the first generation of 1-Gbps architecture and automotive Ethernet to maximize bandwidth and is due to arrive in 2019.
At Geneva, Hyundai gave a few more details on its strategic partnership with autonomous vehicle technology supplier Aurora Innovation, as it looks to introduce AVs onto market by 2021. The alliance will see Aurora’s self-driving technology integrated into Hyundai vehicles, starting with models custom-developed and launched in test programs and pilot cities. The first new vehicle to use the technology will be the Nexo FCV fuel-cell vehicle, with the Korean manufacturer confirming that testing began earlier this year.
Longer-term, Hyundai and Aurora will work to commercialize self-driving vehicles around the world, but right now the partnership will focus on the on-going development of hardware and software for automated and autonomous driving and the back-end data services required for Level 4 automation.