How Hyundai is Embracing the Electric FutureSep 3rd, 2019
Imagine waiting at the bus stop when suddenly you see a double-decker bus sneak up next to you with just a quiet whisper. Now, picture that same bus—capable of carrying 70 passengers—producing absolutely zero greenhouses gases with an advanced steering system? You don’t need to imagine it anymore because the future of electric public transit is already here. China is currently leading the way in all-electric transportation, and we surmise that it’s only a matter of time before other cities embrace fully electric public transit. This year, Hyundai released an electric double-decker bus that gets us excited about the future of transport manufacturing. How else has Hyundai embraced the future of electric cars? Let’s take a look!
But First, More on the Electric Double-Decker Bus
Introduced in May, the electric double-decker was designed for two purposes: to keep more cars off the road and to reduce air pollution. Needing only a little over an hour to fully recharge, the double-decker bus can travel as far as 300km on a single charge. Fueled by a 384-kWh high-efficiency polymer battery, the bus has an independent suspension system in the first axle, which offers a more comfortable ride for the 59 passengers on the lower level and the 11 passengers up on top, according to Hyundai.
Electric bus features include:
- Two fixed wheelchairs
- Automatic sliding ramp
- Accessible low floors
- Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC)
- Forward Collision Avoidance Assist (FCA)
- Lane Keeping Assist (LKA)
The development of this bus design project was sanctioned by the Korean Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, and Transport, and we can’t wait to see a fleet of these electric buses in Seoul, Busan, and Incheon. We can only hope that these models make it to North America.
The IONIQ Hybrid Wins The Canadian Green Car Award in 2018
The Canadian Green Car Award is “Canada’s premier award recognizing vehicles with the greatest potential to minimize the overall impact of automobiles on our environment. Vehicles are evaluated for environmental benefits as well as their mass-market potential.” This is the second Green Car Award for the IONIQ hybrid vehicle, beating out strong contenders, like the Ford Fusion Hybrid and Kia Niro. The award was based on a series of factors, including:
- Consumer appeal
The Hyundai IONIQ is the first car to offer three distinct electrified powertrains: hybrid, rechargeable plug-in hybrid, and electric battery. It’s no wonder the IONIQ is being recognized for both its consumer desirability and its forward-thinking technology. Take a look at these 2019 IONIQ highlights:
- Ample cargo space paired with plenty of leg and head room make this a delightful family car.
- Its fuel efficiency is a real contender against hybrid giants, like the Toyota Prius.
- The intuitive infotainment features, like Android Auto™ and Apple CarPlay™, are standard on all new models.
- New 2019 models include more optional safety features, such as driver attention alert and automatic high-beam assist.
Hyundai Showcases the First Self-Driven Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle
Commercially available self-driving cars will soon be a reality. Hyundai is expecting to roll out level four autonomous cars by 2021 (in select Smart cities) and to make fully autonomous hybrids available worldwide by 2030. Last year, five level four self-driving vehicles successfully completed the 190-km journey from Seoul to PyeongChang, driving at 100–110-km speeds and navigating highways, lane changes, and toll gates.
Hyundai’s vision of the future is all about mobility: clean, free, and connected. The cars used in this test drive were modelled after the Genesis G80 and SUV Nexo; all of which were equipped with 5G network technology, strategically placed cameras and Light Detection and Ranging sensors (LIDARs). Because self-driving vehicles process so much data, the fuel cell model is the most sensible and cleanest choice of engine.
Besides autonomous driving technology, passengers can expect more perks from the NEXO fuel cell electric SUV, such as:
- 5G Network connectivity
- Home Connect: Users can easily access IoT devices at home. They can turn off the lights, lock the door, and lower the blinds all from the comfort of their car and without worrying about distracted driving.
- Assistant Chat: Assistant Chat is exactly how it sounds. It may not have a sexy name, like Siri or Alexa, but it can still listen and respond to your questions, carry out basic voice commands, and deliver responses via voice, images, or text.
- Wellness Care. This might be one of the most futuristic features, which monitors the health of backseat passengers by measuring stress levels, heart rates, and even their moods. Based on these measurements, passengers can consult with a health professional in real-time and access “therapeutic services.”
- Noise-Away. Say goodbye to noisy traffic and heavy winds with noise-reduction technology.
- Mood Care. As an extension of Wellness Care, this feature sets the mood with lighting whenever you’re using Wellness Care or your music player.
- Everysing. You may have already heard of this Korean karaoke app, which allows passengers to belt out lyrics to their favourite tunes while watching music videos on the car’s entertainment system.
Self-driving vehicles give us a lot of time on our hands. The definition of “road trip” will take on a whole new meaning with these apps, and we have a feeling there will be a lot more in-drive entertainment. While the majority of testing is happening in Korea, North American drivers will soon benefit from the dedicated research and testing of self-driving vehicles from Hyundai and other major car companies.