After revealing the ‘45’ concept a few weeks ago, Hyundai Motor Company has released more details of the mini EV, based on the concept car. The minicar recently used its Emotion Adaptive Vehicle Control (EAVC) technology to support young patients at the SJD Barcelona Children’s Hospital in Spain as part of the ‘Little Big e-Motion’ project.

Hyundai says EAVC is an artificial intelligence-based technology that optimises vehicle environment based on information from both inside and outside the vehicle.

Photo: Supplied

EAVC technology monitors facial expressions, heart rate and respiratory rate, and combines these readings with input from the vehicle including speed, acceleration, noise and vibration. This data is then processed utilising machine learning to optimise the vehicle environment and actively controls vehicle systems such as lighting, climate, music and fragrance dispenser.

Equipped with this technology, the mini EV – designed by the same team that oversaw the ‘45’ concept – will be used to support the treatment of young patients at hospitals. Hyundai donated this one-of-a-kind EV to SJD hospital in Barcelona where it will be used to support the mobility of young patients from hospital bed to treatment room, which is considered one of the most stressful trips for the children.

Photo: Supplied

“We want our technology to help improve the lives of our customers in various mobility spaces beyond the roads,” said Jinmo Lee, Senior Research Engineer at Hyundai Motor who led the project. “We hope the EAVC technology on the minicar will provide a fun, safe mobility experience for young patients and help improve their health outcomes.”

The EAVC-equipped mini EV interacts with its young ‘driver’ through five key technologies: Facial Emotion Recognition System, Breathing Exercise Belt, Heart Rate Monitoring Sensor, Emotion Adaptive Lighting, and Emotion Adaptive Scent Dispenser.

Photo: Supplied

The Facial Emotion Recognition System uses a camera in front of the seat to identify the child’s emotions in real-time. The Breathing Exercise Belt wraps around the body and its air pockets apply gentle pressure to help relieve anxiety and enable more stable breathing, while the accelerometer, the Heart Rate Monitoring Sensor, measures the heart rate and breathing rate. The Emotion Adaptive Lighting displays green, yellow or red to show the child’s emotional state in colors. The Emotion Adaptive Scent Dispenser sprays fragrance timed with breathing to help put a smile on the faces of the young patients. The vehicle also blows bubbles to celebrate the child’s progress toward treatment.

Hyundai Motor Group is leading the development of this next-generation technology as part of an academic research collaboration with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Media Lab.