Hyundai Steps Up to Support Drivers Who are Hearing Impaired

Not to discount sight as a key factor in driving safety, hearing is pretty important too – just think about how useful sound is when driving, such as audible cues and input from emergency vehicle sirens, squeaking brakes and navigation instructions.  But to date, there’s not been much support for hearing impaired drivers by vehicle manufacturers.

Hyundai is changing that, with the development of its Audio-Visual and Audio-Tactile Conversion systems, which convert important sounds to visual cues via head-up display (HUD), and into tactile cues, such as a vibrating steering wheel.  These systems can distinguish between important sounds (e.g., emergency siren) and ambient sounds (e.g., nearby construction) and alert the driver visually and/or tactilely.

Hearing impaired drivers also won’t have any more trouble using navigation systems, as Hyundai’s setup converts instructions into directional lights and arrows, presented on the steering wheel and HUD system.  Further, the sounds made by crash avoidance technologies when activated are communicated to drivers using vibrations.  Even the parking sensors are in play, communicating via different rates of vibrations as the vehicle gets closer to a nearby object.

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