Hyundai Motor Company has developed new technology which makes life easier for people with hearing impairment. The idea is to offer them a safe and a comfortable drive experience along with a means for hearing-impaired people to interact with their external environment. Hyundai has devised a means wherein people with hearing impairment can maximise their sense of sight and touch. The company has created a form of communication which translates internal and external sounds to tactile and visual elements. This technology utilises artificial intelligence which analyses sound patterns and uses two separate driver assist systems which are Audio Visual Conversion (AVC) and Audio Tactile Conversation (ATC). These two systems work in conjunction and help hearing-impaired people get a better sense of the world around them.
The AVC system uses visual portrayals of external sounds with pictograms on the heads-up display (HUD) of the car. These could include the sound of emergency vehicles, weather conditions and so on. Also, in this instance, the steering wheel is fitted with multi-coloured LED lamps which indicate navigational information while driving. As Additionally, Hyundai also developed an application that enables communication between passengers and drivers who are hearing-impaired.
Similarly, the ATC system uses vibrations in the steering wheel to give the driver information about the external environment. Hyundai demonstrated the technology in Seoul, with a hearing-impaired taxi driver, Daeho Lee. Hyundai also highlighted the technology through a documentary called the 'Quiet Taxi' which can be viewed on the company's YouTube channel.
This technology helps hearing-impaired drivers to overcome the problems of not being able to hear horns of other vehicles along with sirens of emergency vehicles. This also helps the driver to not only rely on his sense of sight, which otherwise could have caused fatigue quicker than that in an average driver.