Hyundai Connectivity Concept turns your car into a rolling smartphone
By C.C. Weiss
December 28, 2012
Car makers have been slowly but surely sucking content off your phone and into your vehicle. With the help of a smartphone, you can now access navigation, music, text messaging and other phone functions from the driver and/or passenger seat. The Hyundai Connectivity Concept takes things a step farther, wirelessly transferring all of the phone's content to the car's touchscreen display and adding other wireless functions.
Hyundai calls the Connectivity Concept a "technology study" and imagines it reaching production within the next three years. It has equipped the conceptual system on a New Generation i30 in order to demonstrate it.
The Connectivity Concept hardware starts before the driver ever enters the car. In place of a hard or electronic key, the system uses near-field communications (NFC) to pop the locks open. The driver simply places the phone over an NFC tag on the door.
When the driver steps inside, the phone slides into a wireless dock in the center console and all of its content – music, phone contacts, profile settings and more – is streamed to the car's 7-inch touchscreen. The car's infotainment system takes on the look and function of the phone's touchscreen. Like Toyota has done in the new Avalon, Hyundai includes a wireless charger as part of the system.
"With this technology, Hyundai is able to harness the all-in-one functionality of existing smartphone technology and integrating it into everyday driving in a seamless fashion," said Allan Rushforth, Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Hyundai Motor Europe, in a statement. "As the technology continually develops there will be capabilities to store driver’s seating positions and exterior mirror settings, providing customers with a comfortable and individual driving environment."
Because the system relies on a smartphone, multiple drivers can enjoy a personalized driving experience within the same Hyundai.
The Connectivity Concept isn't that much more advanced than the technology that some cars have today. Smartphones can stream content via Bluetooth, and door-opening apps are available. Hyundai's integration just creates a more robust, seamless smartphone-car connection that should make commutes a little more enjoyable.
Hyundai is working with the Broadcom Corporation on the system, and expects to have the connectivity technology ready for market as early as 2015.