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Brief Published: 22 Jan 2021

Hyundai Creates Emotional Support Car for Hospitalised Kids

Extra

Hyundai Motor Company has unveiled a miniature emotional support car for young patients at a children’s hospital in Spain. Part of the Little Big e-Motion project, the vehicle uses artificial intelligence (AI) to monitor and improve kids’ wellbeing.

Moving from a hospital bed to a treatment room or operating theatre can be a stressful experience, especially during a pandemic where less contact is permitted between staff and patients. 

Enter Hyundai’s Little Big e-Motion. Revealed in December 2020 as part of a collaboration with MIT Media Lab, the vehicle begins by reading the young driver’s feelings using Emotion Adaptive Vehicle Control. This technology captures data such as heart and respiratory rate and facial expressions. It uses machine learning to give an overall assessment of the patient’s mood and sends this evaluation to the relevant medical professionals via an app.

Next, a friendly on-board cartoon assistant will take the child through a range of wellbeing techniques to suit their mood. These include breathing exercises (a built-in breathing exercise belt measures their effectiveness) and releasing a candy-scented fragrance from an emotion-adaptive dispenser. Other uplifting features allow for blowing bubbles and playing music. 

Looking ahead, Hyundai hopes to expand its use of emotion-led technology to enhance driver wellbeing and safety across its other mobility devices. For more on health-enhancing vehicles, see Wraparound Wellness Cocoons in The Post-Covid Car Opportunity

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