Some PR campaigns are fun and exciting, while many are just plain cringe-worthy. But that doesn’t mean that we, the hapless consumers, can’t take advantage of those PR campaigns that are genuinely beneficial. Hyundai’s Little Big e-Motion Project is quite clearly a PR campaign intended to garner goodwill, but it did result in the Hyundai Mini 45 electric vehicle being donated to a hospital to let children drive from their hospital beds to the treatment room.
Hyundai’s Mini 45 is a small electric vehicle that resembles a very fancy Power Wheels ride-on. It was donated to Hospital Sant Joan de Déu Barcelona (a children’s hospital in Spain), which means that some real world good is coming from this public relations campaign. The purpose of this little car is to reduce children’s fears when they go to receive treatment by giving them a fun way to get to operating room, radiology lab, or wherever else they need to go. Any ride-on vehicle would provide a fun experience for the kids, but the Mini 45 does it in style and has additional features to comfort children who are going through a scary time in their lives. The car has a screen in the dashboard to display cute animated videos that explain what is happening in order to ease their minds, as well as sensors to keep hospital staff updated on how they’re feeling.
Those sensors include a heart rate monitor and a camera that works with sophisticated facial recognition software to determine a child’s emotional state. If, for example, a kid is feeling panicked, lights underneath the car will turn red so that nearby staff know to keep an eye out and provide comfort if necessary. A special seatbelt-style apparatus even supplies haptic feedback to help walk the little troopers through breathing exercises that can alleviate stress. More detailed data from the sensors can be sent wirelessly to a tablet for nurses and physicians to monitor while the short road trip to the treatment room is underway. Hospitals are often difficult to navigate and kids do have a tendency to go astray, so the Mini 45 EV is capable of driving autonomously to reach its destination. We can’t help but smile while watching kids drive the car through the hospital’s hallways.