The front of a Hyundai could communicate with you in the future.
Hyundai appears to be following up on its plans to use an in-grille intelligent lighting LED display and is now working on a proof of concept.
Hyundai touted ideas like an "Interactive Smart Face" and "Front End Modules" for visual communication with the outside environment before. Still, a Reddit user spotted a thread on a Texas Instruments forum, which revealed that Hyundai is looking for a solution.
While many will know Texas Instruments for its calculators and scientific instruments, the company also works in the automotive space, including "body electronics & lighting."
What appears to be Hyundai's parts subsidiary, Mobis, and its sub-contractor are looking for a module that implements a custom pattern using a full-color LED matrix display on the front of a vehicle. The wording says grille, but we assume it'll be for an electric car. While Hyundai has hidden lighting behind a grille before (On the Tucson and Santa Cruz), it wouldn't be ideal for displaying messages.
Specifically, the person wants to control an LED matrix, essentially a panel of LEDs (instead of a strip) that can be controlled individually. That means it's not the screen shown in the concept video above but something that could work now in the real world.
The specific solution being asked about is Intelligent Smart Embedded LED (ISELED), promoted as a more straightforward and less expensive solution to a controlled LED matrix with up to 4079 LEDs being controlled automatically. The system is developed specifically with automotive applications in mind. The product Texas Instruments recommends is identified as a 48 x 16 (channels) matrix LED driver with 16-bit pulse width modulation dimming that will be released at the end of this year.
LED technology has come a long way over the past couple of years in every aspect, from quality and size to controllability and cost. The kind of thing Hyundai appears to be looking at is way beyond what we're seeing in consumer electronics. Its real-world application for communicating with people when outside the car is something automotive companies are seriously considering.
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