Hyundai Autonomous Technology Concept Detects Departed Driver, Leads Vehicle to Safety

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July 13, 2017—Hyundai's MOBIS, a global producer of automotive components, announced the conceptual research of a new near-term autonomous safety function that could prevent more than 6,000 traffic fatalities each year.

The Departed Driver Rescue and Exit Maneuver (DDREM) technology detects the critical situation where the driver departs from controlling the vehicle and it then mitigates the risk of a crash by taking control of the vehicle and guiding it to safety. Situations that will activate include falling asleep, suffering a heart attack or experiencing other health conditions that prevent the driver from operating the vehicle.

DDREM technology is designed to run in the background of a vehicle and, like stability control, airbags and seatbelts, the level 4 autonomous technology will activate only upon detecting a critical situation. The MOBIS concept aims to prevent more than 90 percent of departed-driver crashes, "yet costs much less and is simpler to verify than service-based autonomous systems, which could be many years from production," the company said.  After reviewing several independent studies from the North American region, MOBIS believes that fatalities caused by departed driver scenarios are close to 7,000 per year. The implementation of the DDREM technology could save 6,000 or more of those lives.

"Autonomous technology as a service is being aggressively pursued by many automotive and technology companies, but it may be many years before these complicated solutions are available to the market," said David Agnew, director advanced engineering, MOBIS North America. "MOBIS' approach is to pull the incredible safety potential of autonomous tech to the forefront of the market and to drastically reduce the ongoing problem of departed-driver crashes."

By focusing its efforts of safety-specific autonomous functions, MOBIS eases the engineering challenge of putting autonomous functions on the road. "The reduced complexity of this technology will allow for faster industry adoption, ultimately providing increased vehicle safety in consumers' vehicles sooner rather than later," the company said. 

MOBIS has begun collaboration with key North American government agencies to share the concept and study the identified performance metrics that are crucial to accelerating DDREM deployment. In addition, while the advanced research phase of the technology continues, the company is working on collaboration arrangements to partner with a global automaker.

"MOBIS continues to make significant strides toward advancing the future of the mobility industry," said Agnew. "We aim to optimize vehicle performance, creating a safer, more enjoyable consumer experience and bringing our engineering expertise to the forefront of the market."

On July 12, 2017, at Semicon West in San Francisco, Agnew will present about accelerating autonomous technology for safety-specific missions as part of the larger "Smart Automotive 1: The Future of Smart & Connected Self-Driving Cars" session. Agnew's presentation will take place at 12:15 p.m. in the Moscone North TechXPOT.

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