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Hyundai's new toy EV helps kids feel more comfortable ahead of hospital treatment

The minicar helps doctors know when a child feels ready for treatment.

The Hyundai 45 EV concept is a lovely thing, and it's going into production at that, but this toy car version has an even lovelier message behind it. On Monday, the automaker showcased its mini 45 EV concept toy car that now works in Sant Joan Deu Barcelona Children's Hospital in Spain.

Fun cars to carry kids to their treatments or procedures isn't anything new, but Hyundai and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology hope this one does a lot more for youngsters worried about whatever they're in the hospital for. See, the minicar features a slew of advanced technology to help ease anxiety and stress, and it provides feedback for doctors to know when a child feels more comfortable to head to treatment. At the center of this is Emotion Adaptive Vehicle Control, or EVAC.

EVAC is a real system Hyundai and MIT continue to work on for future production cars, but the base technologies are on full display to showcase their benefits. Although somewhat controversial, facial recognition reads a child's face to understand their emotions, while a special seatbelt includes breathing exercises. In the video above, the car helps the anxious kiddo with exercises while the belt applies gentle pressure in support. A red device, at the same time, pushes a pleasant scent into the air to help take a young patient's mind off of their worries, and a heart monitor keeps track of their heart rate.

All the information is sent back to the doctor so they can see if the minicar has an affect on the child, but the toy also sports underglow lights to communicate the patient's emotional state. Red is uncomfortable, green means they're ready to go -- and the 45 minicar will even blow bubbles to help build their confidence.

Hyundai said it will continue researching the technologies and support the minicar project, which is part of the Little Big e-Motion initiative. Meanwhile, there are likely some really impressed children at that hospital in Barcelona.

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