That J-couch looks particularly comfortable

By now, it’s not hard to imagine what automakers are capable of showcasing when it comes to technological advancements in the industry. It’s hardly a surprise then to see a company like Hyundai troop to the Consumer Electronics Show to introduce a new concept cockpit that can not only monitor the health of its occupants, but also manage stress levels that are often produced by driving.

The concept itself is called the Health + Mobility Cockpit and like most prototypes of its status, it’s been designed to include features that are not readily available in today’s market, but could end up getting there provided that advancements in technology pave the way for that opportunity. Among the pertinent features of the Health + Mobility Cockpit is what Hyundai calls “Mood Bursts,” which uses sensors to detect a driver’s specific mood at any given point in time while he’s driving. In the event that the system detects the driver losing concentration, an “Alert Burst” is triggered in the cabin. Conversely, a “Calm Burst” is activated when the system detects that the driver’s stress levels are increasing. Seems ideal for traffic situations.

It’s largely unclear how these “bursts” manifest themselves inside the cabin, but at least one example for the “Alert Burst” comes in the form of the system automatically adjusting the driver’s seat in a more upright position in the event that the driver is losing focus on his driving.

Not surprisingly, lighting manipulation is another prominent feature of the Health + Mobility Cockpit since there have been numerous scientific studies done on the effects of light and color to a person’s mood and awareness. According to Hyundai, the cockpit is capable of adjusting its lights system depending on the mood of the driver with specific levels attributed to warm and cool lighting. Likewise, the system is also capable of manipulating the smell inside the cockpit, thanks in part to what the company refers to as an “advanced scent system” that disperses different aromas like eucalyptus and peppermint depending, once again, on the mood and energy levels of the driver.

Physically, the steering wheel-less Health + Mobility Cockpit looks like your garden variety concept interior, which is to say that it’s a fresh interpretation of a cabin that has yet to be done in the current landscape of the industry. Instead of the traditional seating configuration, this cabin features one executive chair in the front that can swivel at least 180 degrees and a J-shaped lounge couch on the back that extends to the front passenger area where a chair is noticeably absent. Up front is a horizontal block dashboard that extends from end of the interior to the other and atop the dash sits an equally long and massive digital display unit that contains every pertinent configuration and information needed by the car.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

An interesting proposition, but how far can Hyundai really go with this?

Hyundai Health Care Cockpit Shows The Future Of Stress-Free Driving High Resolution Interior
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Part of why Hyundai created it in the first place is to introduce a new relationship between man and machine that helps cultivate the well-being of drivers when they’re traveling. But the cockpit itself is more than just about mood bursts and J-shaped lounge chairs. Its sensors are also capable of detecting a driver’s respiratory rate, heart rate, and breathing depth and patterns while also using eye tracking and facial-feature recognition to see how attentive a driver is and just as important, his emotional state in any particular point in time.

The features themselves are all advanced relative to what the industry has today, but a big part of them could prove to be useful if they’re developed properly. The question now is how far Hyundai actually is in the development of this concept that will allow it to turn it into something that can be used in the real world.

Ultimately, that’s the underlying question that all these concepts we’ve seen at the Consumer Electronics Show have to answer. On paper, they all look great. I mean, who wouldn’t want to be in a cockpit that also functions as a mobile clinic of sorts. But all of these things are still just visions of a future that the industry has yet to reach.

There’s a lot of work that needs to be done before something like the Health + Mobility Cockpit can be put to actual use. The question now is whether a company like Hyundai has the patience and dedication to see something like this through. History suggests that it’s going to try to apply some parts of this concept for use in the real world, but don’t expect that to happen anytime soon.

That’s the trick with understanding these prototypes and appreciating them for what they really are. They’re all interesting propositions, but in the end, whether they become reality or not is still up in the air.

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