Technology is at its best when it benefits the vulnerable.
Back in October, Hyundai revealed its pint-sized small electric vehicle for kids based on the stylish, retro 45 Concept. At the time, we thought it was just another adorable miniature version of the real deal, but it turns out that Hyundai's intentions for this mini EV were far more meaningful.
Dubbed the Mini '45' EV, it's equipped with Emotion Adaptive Vehicle Control (EAVC) technology. Using artificial intelligence, this technology is intended to contribute to the treatment of young patients at the Hospital Sant Joan Deu Barcelona by interpreting the emotions of its driver.
This tiny vehicle is less than a third of the length of a Hyundai Kona. Once the child is seated in the funky EV, the EAVC system steps in and assesses the patient's emotions in real-time.
The vehicle can pick up on information like heart rate, respiratory rate, and facial expressions, such as whether the child is smiling or frowning. These parameters are combined with the EV's speed, vibration, and acceleration to initiate the necessary helpful actions, such as easing anxiety prior to treatment via a Breathing Exercise Belt with its own air pockets or dispensing a relaxing fragrance. Along with these is an Emotion Adaptive Lighting system.
All of these technologies work in unison to gradually relax the patient and encourage them to embrace treatment. The EV and its associated technologies all form part of the Little Big e-Motion project, and watching the video above is proof that Hyundai has thought well beyond everyday mobility in creating this vehicle.
"The hospital is very excited to have such a technology available for kids," said Joan Sanchez de Toledo, the Head of the Pediatric Cardiology Department. It's said that Hyundai's mini EV will "dramatically change" the way that young patients approach medical treatment.
"We hope the EAVC technology on the minicar will provide a fun, safe mobility experience for young patients and help improve their health outcomes," said Senior Research Engineer at Hyundai, Jinmo Lee.
Although Hyundai didn't mention whether EAVC would make its way into production vehicles, it does intend to expand the use of the tech in mobility devices in the future. For those of us who won't fit into the tiny EV, worry not; Hyundai has big plans for expanding its lineup of electrified cars in the near future.