Hyundai reveals new tech to help hearing-impaired drivers
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Hyundai is using artificial intelligence to improve the driving experience for hearing-impaired drivers.
The company says hearing-impaired drivers are dependent mainly on their sight and touch senses, and its new technology will expand freedom of mobility to all drivers regardless of their physical limitations.
The Korean company says its new technology uses artificial intelligence to analyse the external sound patterns and employs two separate driving assist systems that work together simultaneously - the Audio-Visual Conversion (AVC) and Audio-Tactile Conversion (ATC), to help hearing-impaired drivers who have an acute, highly developed sense of touch and attuned visual capabilities.
It says the AVC allows for safer driving, by enabling 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-coloured LEDs which indicate navigational information while driving.
The ATC transfers the sound data into vibrations through the steering wheel, notifying the driver of information about external environments such as distance from obstacles.
HMG, demonstrating the technology, has revealed a campaign video called ‘Quiet Taxi’ that aspires to give hope to drivers with impaired hearing.
HMG chose Daeho Lee, Seoul’s first designated hearing-impaired taxi driver, to showcase the driving assist technology.
Mr. Lee, a hearing-impaired father of two who recently began a new career as a taxi driver, had difficulties with hearing and had to rely mainly on his sight.
Problems arose with other drivers on the road when he could not hear the horns or sirens of surrounding vehicles. He also needed to constantly rely on his vision, which caused fatigue at a rate many times that of the average driver.
Hyundai says it has also developed an application that enables communication between passengers and drivers who are hearing-impaired.