Hyundai working on assist option for deaf drivers
Hyundai has developed technology to improve the driving experience for the deaf. The communication system converts sounds inside and outside of the car into tactile and visual aids.
Hyundai's new technology combines artificial intelligence and sound sensors alongside two separate driver assist systems working together. The Audio-Visual Conversion (ACV) and Audio-Tactile Conversion (ATC) systems help deaf drivers who have a highly developed sense of touch and attuned visual capabilities to better understand what's happening in and around the vehicle.
Sounds from the external environment are sensed and visually portrayed to the driver intelligently. Discerning between construction sounds, for example, and the sound of an emergency vehicle's siren, the AVC can ignore or respond to those sounds according to need, displaying visual cues on the vehicle's head-up display. Meanwhile, navigation prompts for turns are shown through multi-colored LED light strips embedded in the steering wheel, blinking in the direction the driver needs to turn.
The interior sounds of the car, including in-vehicle alert systems such as crash avoidance technologies, are transmitted to the steering wheel as vibrations. Parking sensors, for example, can transmit distance metrics to the driver through the AVC system by vibrating the steering wheel at different rates for differing distances, and to one side or another to indicate where the obstacle is located.
The technology is demonstrated in the following video featuring Daeho Lee, who is reportedly Seoul's first-ever deaf taxi driver.