One of the many ways a car be tuned is via the electronic control unit (or ECU). ECU is the brain, the computer of the car, where engine timing, the amount of fuel injected and whatnot can be tweaked. To do that, you need a specialist equipment or a laptop with the correct software, and a cable to plug into the ECU. That’s now. In near future, if Hyundai Motor Group have its way, you could be using a smartphone to do the same for an electric vehicle.
Hyundai Motor Group has revealed that it is developing a “smartphone-electric vehicle paring based performance adjustment technology,” which will allows you to customize primary function of its electric vehicle using a smartphone app. The smartphone app will let you tweak seven major performance features, including the maximum torque output of the motor, ignition, acceleration and deceleration, regenerative braking capacity, maximum speed limit, responsiveness and even energy use on climate control. In short, “tuning” your car wouldn’t be a rocket science anymore.
With the Smartphone-based EV Performance Control, as it is referred to as, it doesn’t quite the same as actually tuning the car. In fact, it is more like in the line of customizing the driver’s seat. Hyundai Motor Group is developing this with rental or car-sharing industries in mind where this technology will bale drivers to use their custom settings in whichever electric vehicle they drive, simply by downloading their profile from the server.
“The application provides optimized settings for a designated destination by analyzing the remaining distance and electric energy requirement. It can also accommodate sportier driving by recommending tailored performance settings….
Beyond the driver’s seat, users can share their customization settings online as well as try out other users’ custom settings. Customers can also apply recommended settings by Hyundai based on the condition of roads, from country roads to the city center or mountain ranges.”
Naturally, concern about security will arise when we talk about storing information in remote servers. To address this, Hyundai said that it will leverage on blockchain technology “to prevent security issues while users upload and share their custom settings on the server.” So, there you have it, the future of automobile as envisioned by Hyundai Motor Group. Kudos to the automaker for thinking forward, instead of just making cars like any other electric car makers.
This even isn’t the first industry-first technology the South Korean automaker is developing. Previously, it also announced unlocking, starting and driving cars with a smartphone, as well as solar charging roof and hood, and the pretty crazy idea of sunroof airbag.
Images: Hyundai Motor Group/Kia Motors.