By Christopher A. Sawyer
Hyundai’s Consumer Electronic Show display had working versions of future infotainment systems, built around voice recognition technology from Apple and Nuance. There also was an in-car steaming technology from MHL that should kill the in-car DVD drive once and for all. Here’s a quick look at the new, but by no means proprietary, technologies you can expect Hyundai to launch starting in 2014:
- In the near future, Hyundai will become one of nine automakers to pair Apple’s Siri voice-activated assistant with a button in the steering wheel. This “Eyes Free” mode operates through the vehicle’s infotainment system, but requires the operator have a compatible iPhone running iOS 6. This will allow drivers to perform a number of yet to be enumerated tasks, as well as operate their iPhone via their voice. In this mode, the iPhone’s screen does not illuminate which, Hyundai claims, further reduces distractions.
- Using the same button, drivers also will be able to interact with the on-board Dragon Drive developed by Nuance. This conversational voice recognition system enables drivers to dictate messages, search for their favorite music, ask for directions and get real-time weather information, among other things. In some ways it is similar to Siri, and suggests that rumors Nuance provides Siri’s cloud-based services may be true. If so, the two technologies should be separate but compatible, and suggest a future in which iPhones and iPads take the place of the infotainment head units being used today. BMW offers Dragon Drive on its 2013 7 Series.
- In-car entertainment should get a boost from MHL’s 1080p60. It sends an uncompressed video with up to eight channels of digital audio from a mobile device to a dashboard display. It charges the device while doing so. Hyundai says this technology will allow it to integrate mobile devices into the infotainment system, and enable users to display apps and other content in the vehicle.
- If you have the latest tech, you need the latest hardware. According to Hyundai, this includes Bluetooth 3.0 and Wi-Fi/3G connectivity and a user-centered interface. With it the driver and passengers will be able to access web browsing, create a mobile hot spot, and media stream through the support of DLNA and Mirror Link and Aha by Harman.
Hyundai isn’t saying when it will introduce these technologies, but you can expect them to arrive with the next-generation Genesis sedan. That vehicle will be previewed by the HCD-14 concept to be shown at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.