Supplement, Wheelers

Hyundai invents an infotainment system

Published : 09 Jun 2019 08:11 PM | Updated : 06 Sep 2020 02:00 AM

Hyundai's next-gen infotainment will attempt to connect every member your family-and the Crock-Pot on the kitchen counter-with your car.
The concept is the automaker's first near-production version of the Intelligent Personal Cockpit unveiled at CES 2018 that promised AI-based learning of driver preferences and remote control of smart home features. 

Currently nameless, the feature syncs the calendars, reminders, and tasks from multiple mobile devices, including other Hyundais, with each car's infotainment system. That in itself isn't groundbreaking-it's how iCloud and other cloud-based phone services work now, such as the iPhone using your current location and traffic to recommend the best time to leave for an appointment. 

Hyundai's system does all that but goes a step further by recognizing schedule conflicts between two or more users, like parents, and automatically modifying each person's planned appointments without any input. "If one of them has an important meeting come up, it can alert the other parent to pick up the kids," Manish Mehrotra, director for the company's connected operations, said at a presentation at MIT. "When the conflict is resolved, the app would then send the best route and task list to the other vehicle."

The goal is to eliminate the back-and-forth texts, phone calls, emails, and navigation inputs we manage separately and let smart software handle these menial tasks in the background without blasting us with constant, unending notifications. Hyundai would then merge this data to automatically start navigation to each destination on a person's schedule without relying on Apple CarPlay or voice assistants (another feature that Hyundai is developing to compete with AI-based systems from Mercedes-Benz and BMW).

 Upon reaching each destination, the system brings up location-specific options that correlate to other internet-enabled devices nearby, such as the ability to start playing music inside a home or, as Mehrotra suggests, to "remotely turn on the Crock-Pot so dinner is hot the moment they arrive." Perhaps Hyundai's digital secretary could soothe the stress of coordinating after-school activities and maybe even save a marriage or two. But for now, you'll just have to actually figure out whatever it is you need to do by (gasp) communicating directly with your family members.