Latest Hyundai SUV Seen As Driverless Stepping Stone

Hyundai’s latest car model is bristling with so much tech that many see it as the carmaker’s literal stepping stone towards an autonomous future.

The South Korean manufacturer is currently buying into AI technology that ‘understands’ people’s intentions in a bid to accelerate its ambitions in autonomous driving. Its corporate and open innovation business, Hyundai Cradle, announced in October that it was investing in Perceptive Automata to develop AI software for cars and automated systems.

Now it has just taken the wraps off its 2020 Palisade SUV, which features an advanced driver assistance system (ADAS) as well as a heads-up display (HUD). Among the technology features are a 10-inch navigation display, wireless charging and seven USB outlets. Also its SmartSense technology comes standard on every Palisade covering a range of ADAS including automatic braking to avoid collisions, to detecting vehicles in the driver’s blind spot and hazard spotting on the road ahead.

The usual array of tech also features pedestrian detection, lane following assist, rear cross-traffic collision avoidance assist, safe exit assist, high beam assist, driver attention warning and adaptive cruise control. Also, if a passenger attempts to open the door when a car is approaching from behind, a visual and acoustic warning on the center cluster alerts the driver.

On Palisade models equipped with the optional Blue Link platform, customers receive three years of complimentary connected services, such as enhanced safety, diagnostic, remote and voice guidance offerings. These include remote start with climate control, remote door lock/unlock, car finder, enhanced roadside assistance and stolen vehicle recovery.

Some features can also be controlled via Android Wear and Apple Watch smartwatch apps, while the latest release of the Blue Link smartphone app includes widgets for improved access to remote features and the ability to send points-of-interest data to the vehicle’s navigation system.

Among the other advanced connectivity features is Driver Talk, an in-car intercom system with rear seat conversation and sleep modes. This system allows the driver to communicate separately with the second or third rows of the vehicle through “conversation mode” in the vehicle’s audio system. The sleep mode allows the front row of seats to listen to their selected audio without it being transmitted to the second- and third-row audio speakers.

— Nathan Eddy is a filmmaker and freelance journalist based in Berlin. Follow him on Twitter.

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