Hyundai Healthcare Cockpit tweaks seat, sounds and smells to keep drivers happy

Prone to getting stressed at the wheel? Hyundai has the answer with a new ‘wellbeing’ cabin concept that it has unveiled at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

The Korean brand says its Healthcare Cockpit concept is intended to create an “in-car experience to support a positive mental state of the driver”. The car uses biometric sensing tech to monitor the physical and mental state of the driver and intervene when all is not well.

Among the ways it could help would be to automatically adjust the driver’s seat to a more upright position if it felt he or she was getting tired, or instigate a lower back massage if it thought the driver was uncomfortable.

An increased heart rate, indicating possible anger, could be detected and countered with an injection of a calming scent such as lavender or eucalyptus, while the lighting might be automatically adjusted to improve alertness.

Temperarature and music can be changed automatically depending on the driver’s mood, while increased connectivity makes it easier to keep in touch with family and friends.

The Healthcare Cockpit was showcased in a virtual reality room, and head of Hyundai Ventures John Suh explained: “Technology can also be used to shift a driver’s state of mind by creating conditions that cultivate a safer and healthier mental state.”

Also at CES, Hyundai unveiled an Ioniq scooter that can be folded up and charged while it sits inside the door of the Ioniq electric car. It would allow Ioniq owners to park their vehicle on the outskirts of cities or at train stations and then complete the last leg of their journey on scooter.

Do you like the sound of the Healthcare Cockpit concept, or not? Let us know in the comments…

 

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Toyota’s Concept-i decides when to drive autonomously

As we move into an autonomous future, automakers are looking at how occupants will experience cars that drive themselves. Toyota is doing just that with the Concept-i it has introduced at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

Toyota bills the Concept-i as a car built from the inside out to foster a warm and user friendly experience. However, it’s the artificial intelligence built into the car that is more interesting. Toyota says the AI system uses automated vehicle technologies to improve safety but also uses haptic and visual stimuli to monitor driver responsiveness. It also monitors road conditions and driver attention and can engage automated driving support to navigate dangerous driving conditions. Sounds to us like the car can take over if it calculates that the driver isn’t paying attention or isn’t in a condition to handle the situation. In other instances, the driver can choose between autonomous and manual driving modes.

Some of that warmth is there. Toyota calls the AI agent Yui, and it can use light, sound, and even touch to communicate critical information. For instance, colored lights in the footwells indicate if the vehicle is in a manual or autonomous driving mode. A next-generation head-up display helps drivers keep their eyes on the road, and projectors can project images on the rear pillars to warn about blind spots.

On the outside, the headlights can seem to wink at you, and an “Automated” display flashes on the nose to let other drivers know the car is driving autonomously. Yui can appear on the door panels to say “Hello” to the driver. At the rear, lights in the rear panel can say “Turning Left.”

The design of the Concept-i is entirely futuristic. The doors open in a scissors motion, the rear tires are covered by bodywork, and glass panels cut all the way through the doors. The CALTY design team in Newport Beach, California did the design work.

Don’t expect the Concept-i to hit the streets any time soon, but Toyota says on-road evaluation will begin within the next few years in Japan. Evaluation of what? We’re guessing the AI system that decides when you get to drive the car and when you don’t.

For more from CES, head to our dedicated hub.

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There’s a new mystery Ferrari and it’s packing V-12 heat

There’s a new special Ferrari that’s getting ready to set the world abuzz with high-revving fervor. This won’t be a V-8 buzz mind you, and it probably won’t be the sort of buzz that breathes through a pair of turbochargers. This is the sort of buzz that only twelve cylinders can create, especially when they’re packaged in a vehicle that looks to be about the size and shape of the Ferrari 458 or 488 GTB.

According to our friends at Motor1, the mystery Ferrari popped up on the automotive radar after some teasing images were posted by an Instagram user that goes by the handle Gregb.23. The photos show the car covered as it’s apparently ready to be shown to what we assume is a gathering of well-heeled Ferrari owners or possibly just to the lucky few who could grab what will be a limited-run machine.

The images on Instagram also tease that it’s not a V-8, and that’s shown in the bottom photo. There’s a V-12 engine sitting out over the back end of the car, and that means this little beasty will be decidedly high end, even for Ferrari. There are also hood pins visible in the photo, so we’d wager that this could be a new track-only special.

So here’s to hoping that Ferrari has a track-focused V-12-powered coupe with the engine out back. That’s what we appear to be looking at, but we will have to wait for the official word to bring you more on this one. Maybe it will take on some of the styling cues shown in the new limited-edition J50. It would be even more exciting if it sported some GTO badging, but that’s probably a bit of extremely wishful thinking.

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Recharge Wrap-up: BMW to test autonomous cars, Korea bans sales of BMW, Nissan, Porsche models

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BMW, Intel, Mobileye team up on autonomy; Korea bans someBMW, Nissan, Porsche models; Cadillac CT6 Plug-In costs more in China; Tesla wins CT court battle.

Continue reading Recharge Wrap-up: BMW to test autonomous cars, Korea bans sales of BMW, Nissan, Porsche models

Recharge Wrap-up: BMW to test autonomous cars, Korea bans sales of BMW, Nissan, Porsche models originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 04 Jan 2017 18:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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BMW to begin testing self-driving cars this year

Stopping short of calling itself the purveyor of the “ultimate riding machine,” BMW announced at the 2017 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas that its first cars capable of driving themselves will be on the road later this year.

The trial run will eventually be part of BMW’s upcoming iNext line of autonomous vehicles, which the automaker hopes to have on the road by 2021. If BMW hits that target, it may be the first carmaker to sell to consumers a vehicle capable of driving itself. 

Forty specially-modified BMW 7-Series sedans will hit the road later this year as part of a test collaboration between BMW, Mobileye, and Intel. By 2021, however, BMW says that it intends to offer self-driving tech on a standard production model. Each of the three collaborators brings something to the table—BMW will offer up its vehicles, Intel will provide its artificial intelligence computing platform, and Mobileye will supply its EyeQ5 processor and 360-degree camera system. 

You might recognize Mobileye’s name from its now-dissolved relationship with Tesla; the electric car builder’s Autopilot system utilized the previous EyeQ3. However, Tesla and Mobileye had a much-publicized falling out. 

BMW says it intends to make its scalable autonomous driving platform available to other automakers. 

CES opens to the public January 5, 2017. For more on the show, head to our dedicated hub.

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Tesla’s Missouri showrooms reopen, at least temporarily

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Court ruled last week that Tesla would lose its sales license in Missouri after lobbying effort from dealership trade group.

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Tesla’s Missouri showrooms reopen, at least temporarily originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 04 Jan 2017 18:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Toyota Concept-i showcases in-car artificial intelligence at CES

Toyota’s has pulled the covers of its Concept-i car at CES 2017, explaining that the futuristic design aims to put the driver’s needs ahead of technology.

The Concept-i is Toyota’s vision for 2030 driving where the car will be a home on wheels although much of the tech showcased is expected to be introduced on Toyota models that we’ll see a good bit before that.

CES 2017: top news stories

The heart of the Concept-i is the in-car artificial intelligence, dubbed Yui. The virtual companion is designed to learn your characteristics, traits, dislikes and likes using sophisticated biometrics and becomes smarter the more you drive. 

Yui can hold conversations with drivers to keep them alert or warn them of upcoming dangers. It’s represented throughout the concept as a ball of light with the idea that it can travel around the car to be where it’s needed.

That means information can be displayed “wherever, whenever” via either the 3D head-up display, the dashboard or even the seats.

While many manufacturers have announced partnerships with tech suppliers, Toyota has developed the entire Concept-i in-house at the Toyota Research Institute. Bob Carter, Toyota’s senior vice president of automotive operations, said: “This is our vision to drive future focus on the driver.

“We have an awful lot of work to do but we will be evolving many concepts and features on the road in Japan in the next few years.” 

The Toyota Concept-i, sized comparativly to a modern city car like the Toyora Aygo, was designed from the inside-out with styling lines radiating from the central console to highlight how the car has been created around the user experience rather than adding tech onto an existing platform.

The unique covered rear wheels provide a suitably futuristic look while inside, the cabin is simplistic, spacious and airy aided by a huge glass screen running up the front and the transparent scissor doors. 

The Concept-i and Yui don’t just communicate with the driver, either. Illuminated panels and a rear end that can display text allow the vehicle to talk to pedestrians and other drivers. Exactly what the messages will be is presumably down to the driver’s discretion. 

Carter added: “The car and the driver become team-mates. The AI is very approachable, very clean and very intuitive. This is a really special concept vehicle.”

Have your say on the Toyota Concept-i in the comments section below…

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