High-Tech Problem Solvers

This is what the future of mobility in San Francisco looks like (according to Hyundai)

Hyundai's Executive Vice Chairman Euisun Chung talks about the future of mobility and cities at the Mobility Innovators Forum.

Photo courtesy of Hyundai Motor America

They have a vision. Hyundai Motor Group is showcasing its mobility solutions using a stylized version of what the company sees is a version of the future of San Francisco.

The overall aesthetic is like something straight out of the era when Isaac Asimov dared people to dream about Daneel Olivaw solving crimes and the Space Race was exciting school children and their parents alike.

It features a lush paradise, something that anyone who has been to San Francisco recently can attest is a far cry from its modern existence. Drones fly by the Golden Gate Bridge while gardens and water features play prominently.

San Francisco 2050 Hyundai's team has come up with their version of what San Francisco could look like by 2050.Image courtesy of Hyundai Motor America

Rather than robots taking charge, like what the crew from Boston Dynamics would have you believe is imminent, Hyundai is taking a human-centric (and perhaps more realistic) approach to their vision of the future, as presented during a keynote speech delivered by Executive Vice Chairman Euisun Chung at the Mobility Innovators Forum.

Hyundai put forth their philosophy that "technology and innovation should be directed towards serving the needs of people."

"Cities and mobility services were developed for humans from the very beginning," said Chung. "That's why we are making a wide range of efforts to study a human-centered future from a broader humanities perspective."

As a way of following through on their principle, Hyundai Motor Group has set up the Human-Centered City Advisory Group, which is comprised of experts with engineering, urban planning, and psychology backgrounds. Using their input, the Group has been developing a blueprint for future cities over the last year with the goal of publishing the research results by 2020.

Hyundai Motor Group has also been conducting the 2050 Future City Project to make predictions on future cities in different regions to serve as a guideline for future smart city development.

The Mobility Innovators Forum is a conference hosted by Hyundai CRADLE that is deigned to bring together leaders in the technology, energy, policy, design, and academia fields to discuss challenges and opportunities in development.

Hyundai CRADLE is Hyundai Motor Group's corporate venturing and open innovation business, which partners and invests in global startups in a number of fields.

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The new Maps+ app will allow drivers to use a navigation system who had not previously purchased navigation.

Photo courtesy of General Motors

General Motors is giving its vehicles a new navigation solution. Maps+, an in-vehicle, app-based way-finding program, will begin rolling out to approximately 900,000 model year 2018 and newer Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac vehicles by the end of 2021, starting on April 30.

"We know customers want an easy and convenient in-vehicle experience that improves over time," said Santiago Chamorro, GM vice president of Global Connected Services. "We listened to customer feedback and developed a product that works seamlessly with our current infotainment systems and provides a highly personalized experience that will iterate throughout the lifetime of the vehicle."

Maps+ was developed in partnership with Mapbox. The new app replaces navigation functionality in already-purchased vehicles that had purchased a navigation system. It provides navigation functionality to drivers of vehicles that did not opt for navigation at the onset.

The new application features Alexa build-in voice control that allows users to listen to music or podcasts using the system's integrated audio apps. A search box allows users to find points of interest, shops, restaurants, parking, and more. There is also embedded speed alert, low fuel recognition, predictive keyboard entry, day and night modes, category shortcuts, rear-time traffic routing, and dynamic mapping capability.

"Our obsession is the driver," said Peter Sirota, CEO of Mapbox. "The map is the canvas for providing the driver with a delightful, easy-to-use experience. From discovering new places to avoiding traffic on your commute to paying at the pump or the plug, Maps+ lays the foundation for an excellent navigation experience. We are excited to build upon this with GM to continue to drive adoption."

GM and Mapbox are committed to continuing Maps+ post-launch, developing new features and improvements based on feedback and metrics.

Maps+ will be available on select vehicles through Connected Vehicle, Premium and App Access subscription plans. Current eligible Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac owners will be notified when their vehicle is eligible for Maps+.

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New driver assist technology is coming to the Lexus lineup later this year.

Photo courtesy of Lexus

New Lexus Teammate driver assistance technology will debut on the 2022 Lexus LS 500h later this year. Its availability is constrained to all-wheel drive models.

The technology was developed based on the Mobility Teammate Concept. This automated driving concept is unique to Toyota sough to enhance communication between drivers and cars, "enabling them to reach out to each other for mutual assistance". The concept sees cars and humans interacting and partnering rather than having automation take over for drivers. This approach allows drivers to enjoy the experience of driving but allowing the vehicle to take over some functions of driver's duties at times. In this way, the tech works as both guardian and chauffeur.

2022 Lexus The company's flagship sedan will get the technology first.Photo courtesy of Lexus

2022 Lexus LS 500h

On the 2022 Lexus 500h, Lexus Teammate will offer two functions: Advanced Drive and Advanced Park.

Advanced Drive is design to "accurately detect driving conditions to plan and execute acceleration, braking, and steering commands to maintain the vehicle within the lane, follow other vehicles, change lanes, navigate certain interchanges and traffic jams and overtake slower vehicles." It's a Level 2 functionality that "allows for driving on limited-access highways with partial hands-free, eyes-on-the-road operation".

This description makes it sound a lot like the suite of lane keeping, lane centering, and adaptive cruise control technology that Hyundai offers rather than true Level 3 technology that General Motors's Super Cruise delivers.

Lexus will show operation of the technology on a screen with information displayed like this.Photo courtesy of Lexus

Advanced Park operates similar to how the Genesis GV80's hands-free parking assist technology works. The Lexus tech automatically controls steering, acceleration, braking, and gear changes with parallel parking or backing into a parking space. It uses a combination of 360-degree sensing technologies and a bird's eye view display to perform the task while allowing the driver to monitor progress.

"We are very proud of Lexus Teammate, which is the culmination of five years of close collaboration between our technical centers in Japan and the US. We conducted simultaneous development and rigorous testing in both markets with the goal of achieving industry-leading advanced driver assistance functionality," says Derek Caveney, executive engineer at Toyota Motor North America's Integrated Vehicle Systems team.

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