By Bang Sun Jeong, Vice President, Head of Hyundai Motor Company Middle East & Africa HQs
When we think about the future of automotive, vehicles equipped with health care systems, is not the first thing that springs to mind.
It is understandable given that driverless cars, shared mobility, and electrification have been widely talked about in recent times and will change the way we travel in a few years.
The revolution of technology is not just transforming the way cars are being manufactured and driven but also how they operate and what it offers.
What if these vehicles installed necessary tools that can read the mind of the driver and detect health warnings such as drowsiness? In other words, a car that tracks the driver’s condition and is capable of responding to an emergency.
In this day and age, the car that we drive daily is not a medical asset as it will not know your medical condition, for example, if you are feeling drowsy or suffering from stress.
But that is almost certain to change and will soon become a reality due to the on-going evolution of technology.
Investing in technology that monitors the driver’s health can benefit both the automotive and healthcare industries. With careful planning and collaboration with other organizations, vehicles integrated with health care systems could help reduce the number of road fatalities. It is about recognizing a driver’s health status and connecting it to the vehicle system to induce safe driving.
With the rapid wave of changes across the automobile industry, Hyundai Motor Group is working on welcoming these innovative technologies to match the vehicles that we are manufacturing.
Hyundai is already working with global ICT companies by investing in startups to promote the development of connected technology and innovation. It includes investing in the face recognition Artificial Intelligence (AI) startup Deep Glint which will recognize faces in 3D. This will be key to identifying the driver’s face and status inside vehicles.
We are also working on developing other aspects such as the collection of bio-information through non-contact and contact sensors, which can help detect movements of the driver and any levels of fatigue or undesirable driving postures.
We have also developed a Driver State Monitoring (DSM) system that will be able to help prevent road fatalities by signalling whether the driver is feeling drowsy. Other plans include a purpose-built vehicle which can serve as self-driving mobility and be used as a mobile clinic.
Hyundai Motors also proposed a new concept mobility solution at this year’s CES which can be implemented in healthcare. It is the Purpose-built vehicle (PBV) and the Mobility transfer hub (Hub). The PBV is self-driving ground mobility which can change into various shapes and can act as a ‘mobile clinic’. In the future, we might be able to receive emergency treatments in a mobile clinic, not in an ambulance with minimum equipment.
The base of such PBVs is the Hub. Basically, it acts like an airport or a terminal. The Hub has the docking station to be connected to PBVs, and upon connection with PBVs, it can be used in many ways. As it is not fixed into a single form, it can be utilized as a regional hub general hospital depending on the need. It is still to be realized, but when the day comes, a new world where patients are treated in a moving vehicle free from time and space limitations will open up.
There is still a long way to go before vehicles with the connected health care systems hit the roads. Extensive work still needs to be undertaken. But it is another step forward and an opportunity that Hyundai is relishing.
With people’s health and wellbeing so important, vehicles installed with car health systems can no longer be an option. It is a necessity that can help protect and enhance the quality of our lives. More importantly, it can be a game-changer for the industry.