Many experts assert that touch-screen infotainment systems are just another distracted driving disaster waiting to happen. Korean automaker Hyundai knows this, which is why the Hyundai Genesis HCD-14 concept sedan displayed recently at the Detroit Auto Show does things differently. The HCD-14 uses 3D motion sensors not unlike those of Microsoft’s Xbox 360 Kinect motion control system – as well as an innovative new eye tracker – to keep drivers’ hands mostly on the wheel and eyes firmly on the road.
Hyundai HCD-14 keeps eyes on the road
HCD-14 enables the driver to reach with a single hand to activate on-board systems via a simple gesture, rather than requiring contact with the dash or buttons. This enables the driver to keep their eyes on the road. Using eye recognition developed with partner company Tobii, the system is easy to calibrate out of the box with some simple finger movements. Accuracy is reportedly on the money within a few pixels, which is extraordinary if true.
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Just press a button on the back of the Hyundai HCD-14′s steering wheel and the eye tracker in the steering wheel watches your eyes as they view the HUD on the windshield. Display icons enable the driver to access telephone, temperature, audio and navigation features. Once the desire feature is located, the driver views the icon, then releases the button. Reaching out with one hand and twisting as if manipulating an imaginary knob raises, lowers or changes settings. Additional motion control settings may be available in the final version of the Hyundai HCD-14, beyond what was featured on the Detroit Auto Show concept.
Hyundai HCD-14 will help eliminate distracted driving
Despite not being able to test all the features of the Hyundai HCD-14′s 3D motion sensing and eye tracking controls, numerous automotive media outlets point out that the concept is very sound. Until all cars are driverless, safe means of interacting with in-vehicle controls are essential. Not coincidentally, the motion controller will also contribute to the elimination of dashboard clutter and hence be more aesthetically pleasing.