Hyundai Motor Group (the Group) today launched a pilot program in Singapore to demonstrate an indoor/outdoor navigation solution that assists persons with visual impairment. The Group is partnering with SG Enable, the focal agency for disability and inclusion in Singapore, and the Singapore Association of the Visually Handicapped (SAVH) on this initiative.
This pilot program in Singapore marks the second phase of the Group’s Universal Mobility Project to better serve persons with disabilities through the broad application of its smart mobility solutions for end-to-end journeys. The Group has completed the first phase by launching EnableLA in Los Angeles, California, in 2021 to improve the transportation of people with mobility barriers, using wheelchair-accessible Hyundai Palisade and Kia Telluride SUVs.
The development of this assistive mobility solution aligns seamlessly with the Group’s Smart City vision, which was unveiled at the 2022 World Cities Summit in Singapore. The vision depicts a future urban landscape that is centered around human values. It emphasizes the integration of diverse mobility solutions, including navigation features designed to address transportation challenges faced by persons with disabilities.
“In order to realize a smart city where every citizen can enjoy the freedom of mobility, it is necessary to develop an end-to-end mobility solution that supports the entire movement process, from pre-boarding to post-boarding of a vehicle,” said Hyeyoung Kim, Vice President and Head of Smart City Innovation Group at Hyundai Motor Group. “To make fundamental changes that achieve our goal, it will take collaborative efforts across the entire ecosystem, including the public and private sectors, not just by a single company.”
In this pilot program, the Group is working with SG Enable and SAVH, organizations in the disability sector in Singapore, to conduct research on the mobility solution and service requirements for auxiliary applications that can be linked before and after vehicle-based services. This collaboration is also expected to identify future business opportunities for the Group’s Smart City initiative to improve mobility of persons with disabilities in urban areas.
“We are excited to collaborate with Hyundai Motor Group on this initiative. SG Enable has worked with partners previously to catalyze social innovations at our award-winning Enabling Village, such as having Singapore’s first inclusive preschool and gym, with more of such facilities built across Singapore ever since. We hope this assistive mobility solution will not only improve accessibility of persons with disabilities, but also further drive social innovations in navigation so they can live more independently and better access opportunities to learn, work and play in an inclusive society,” said Mr. Ron Loh, Assistant Chief Executive at SG Enable.
To bring this program to fruition, the Group has partnered with innovative tech startups to implement an integrated navigation guide utilizing hardware-free positioning and obstacle monitoring with computer vision. Mapxus will provide an indoor navigation solution using Wi-Fi-fingerprinting technology, and Ailytics will provide a CCTV video analysis solution using computer vision technology.
The assistive mobility solution will be piloted at Enabling Village, the first inclusive community space in Singapore dedicated to integrating persons with disabilities, managed by SG Enable. Over a ten-week testing period, recruited participants with visual impairment will trial the navigation solution to send their feedback and data to be used for future iterations of the inclusive end-to-end mobility solutions.
A general version of the mobility solution will be open for public use by all persons with disabilities and their caregivers who visit Enabling Village. The app can be downloaded by scanning a QR code that will be placed at Enabling Village’s Information and Career Center.
Ultimately, the Group’s overarching objective is to evolve into a human-centered mobility provider, fostering a more inclusive community, particularly for people with mobility constraints. The next step of the Universal Mobility Project involves the development of a comprehensive end-to-end mobility solution, combined with purpose-built vehicles (PBVs), to expand the application and create a more streamlined journey for the transportation vulnerable.