Driver Assistance, HUD, Hands-free Trunk and CO2 Sensor
Hyundai’s suite of driver assistance features receives further refinement from the Equus. Buyers that opt for the Technology Package receive adaptive cruise control, lane assist, a haptic feedback steering wheel, and automatic emergency braking. Adaptive cruise control on the 2015 Genesis sedan remains similar in function as the Equus, which Hyundai dubs "smart" cruise control. It’s a full speed range cruise control that can completely stop the car and continue by simply pressing the resume button. As we’ve mentioned in the past, we love adaptive cruise control systems that can completely stop the car instead of requiring driver intervention below a certain speed. It makes enduring rush hour traffic much more pleasant and less stressful.
The former lane departure warning system receives an upgrade to lane keep assist. The LKA system can now actively intervene with driving and keep the vehicle within the lane when driving at speeds above 40 MPH. It relies on the camera mounted above the rear view mirror to track the lanes and applies torque to the electric power steering to steer the car. Hyundai provides the driver with two modes of LKA operation, pre- and post-departure intervention. In pre-departure mode, the LKA actively ensures the car doesn’t leave the lane, whereas post-departure only intervenes when you involuntarily wander out of the lines.
We briefly tested LKA and smart cruise control during the route on order to ensure that it works. The features work great if you need assistance while driving, but we turned it off for more spirited driving along the windy back roads of Arizona.
New to the Hyundai driver assistance suite is the automatic emergency braking system, which can completely stop the car or slow it down enough to minimize damage automatically. At speeds below 50 MPH, AEB can safely stop the car and prevent an accident. If you’re driving at speeds faster than that, it can still slow down the car to minimize the impact, hopefully lessening the damage to the vehicle as well as injuries to occupants. While some may think AEB is unnecessary, it only takes a quick glance backwards to check on the kids for someone to slam on their brakes or randomly pull out onto the street. It’s not a substitute for attentive driving, but it is a great safety net for those random accidental situations.
We did not get a chance to actively test AEB, since it would be irresponsible of us to do so on public roads. Nevertheless, it’s one of those features that we assume works and hope to never have to rely on it.
The head-up display we first experienced in the Equus is now optional on the 2015 Genesis sedan as part of the Technology Package. We liked it in the Equus, and still maintain the same opinion. It’s a full-color display that shows the speedometer, driver assistance features, turn-by-turn navigation, and the speed limit of the street. We only wish it had a tachometer and showed which gear the transmission is in during more spirited driving sessions, but considering the target market, we understand why its absence from the Genesis sedan.
All 2015 Genesis sedans come with a standard proximity key and push-button start. Hyundai developed a new automatic opening trunk that makes use of the proximity key. While Ford and BMW have an optional kick-activated trunk feature, Hyundai makes it even easier by automatically opening if you’re in the proximity of the trunk for three seconds. We’ve tested the Ford kick-activated feature briefly, and found it to be a hit-or-miss. Sometimes it made us feel silly for kicking under the rear bumper a couple times before anything happens. Hyundai’s hands-free trunk is much easier to operate, as long as the car is locked. All you have to do is approach the trunk and stand next to it for three seconds to watch the magic happen.
The last neat trick Hyundai has for the 2015 Genesis is an in-cabin CO2 sensor that monitors air quality. Hyundai’s reasoning for monitoring CO2 levels is to prevent driver drowsiness. It’s a simple idea, the more people there are in a car, the higher the CO2 levels are, which causes drowsiness. By monitoring the CO2 levels, the Genesis automatically brings in fresh air when necessary. Whether or not this actually works is beyond our testing capability for a day of driving. For what its worth, after being in the car for a little over 200 miles, and driving three-quarters of the trip, I never felt drowsy or tired, despite only getting five hours of sleep the night before.