Hyundai Motor Group launched the ‘Heals on Wheels’ campaign for abused children. The campaign video contains iCAREcar (iCarecar), which functions as a space dedicated to counseling, and a touching story that heals children in it and provides joy through virtual space travel experiences. In this video, iCAREcar is not just a means of transportation, but a space optimized for psychological counseling, presenting new possibilities for future mobility: a mobile application that supports efficient counseling with voice recognition technology, compact earset housing stress measurement technology that can analyze the psychological status of the abused children, and digital therapy, which provides virtual mobility experiences as well as therapy. It drew a lot of attention as a humane cutting-edge technology that helps the children heal from abuse or trauma.
Then, how does iCAREcar identify children’s psychological states and heal them? Researchers at Hyundai Mobis who developed brain wave-based stress measurement technology and immersive display technology (senior researchers Lee Chang-won, Jung Yu-jin, and Shin Ji-soo), 42dot senior researcher Lee Han-bin and Hyundai Autoever researchers (senior managers Kim Min-seok, Delphine, and Lee Woo-seok) who developed multi-speaker detachable AI voice recognition technology and counseling application, explained in detail how the mobility technology were housed in iCAREcar. In addition, Yoon Seok-san, senior manager of Hyundai Motor Group, who planned and led this project, spoke about the story behind developing iCAREcar and future activities.
Q. How did Hyundai Autoever develop the iCAREcar AI consultation application?
In order to accurately analyze the counseling contents that are made up of numerous conversations, the counselor’s hard work is bound to follow. Hyundai Autoever developed the iCAREcar AI consultation application to support consultation work and efficiently analyze the contents of consultation. Completed with 42dot’s AI voice recognition technology and Hyundai AutoEver’s application development, this app overcomes the limitations of counseling that has been conducted with voice and pen so far, and improves counseling efficiency with voice recognition technology and various counseling support functions.
Q. What are the main functions of the iCAREcar AI consultation application?
It is equipped with a speech-to-text (STT) function using voice recognition technology and a recording function for counseling so that professional counselors can focus on counseling with abused children. The accuracy of the speech recognition technology applied to the application is about 95%, which is similar to human dictation. Based on such high accuracy, voice data can be converted into text data. It also provides a function to divide text data into sentence units and extract preset key words. In this way, the counselor can easily find key words included in the counseling contents and use them to understand the psychological state of the victim.
In addition, the application contains various functions that increase the efficiency of consultation work; Counselors can efficiently manage counseling contents by creating a profile, and for e-mail transmission, counseling logs can be retrieved and analyzed at any time desired by the counselor. In addition, a memo function was added to allow the counselor to write down what is considered important.
Q. What did you focus on during the application development process?
Since the application is used as a tool to help with therapy, it is most important that a professional counselor be able to use it conveniently. Hyundai AutoEver held workshops with professional advisors prior to developing the application, and tried to house the functions the advisors wanted into the app; The key word extraction function was developed because many counselors wanted it. Also, its user interface is visualized large and easy to click to make it convenient for counselors. Another feature of the application is the design that represents the positive image of iCAREcar, such as the gently polished pebble image and the blue color.
Q. What are the characteristics of the AI voice recognition technology of the iCAREcar application?
The multi-speaker detachable AI voice recognition technology developed by 42dot is one of the core technologies of iCAREcar. AI voice recognition technology features batch transcription and speech separation technologies to quickly and accurately recognize conversations in consideration of the consultation situation in the vehicle.
First, batch transcription is a technology that extracts speech sections from large-capacity media data and processes voice recognition in parallel. Through this, the contents of the conversation during the consultation can be recognized in real time and processed quickly. Another key technology, speech separation, cleanly separates a specific voice from an environment full of overlapping human voices or various noises. For example, if a counselor and a child are having a conversation inside an iCAREcar, MSD (Multi Speaker Detector) technology first determines whether multiple voices overlap, and the overlapping voices are clearly extracted through speech separation technology. AI voice recognition technology that boasts such high accuracy will be of great help in analyzing the contents of counseling.
Q. As the campaign video makes clear, the little ear set housed the technology to measure the stress of abused children.
In the psychological counseling process, the patient’s stress level acts as a very important indicator. Just as a doctor diagnoses a patient’s physical condition after stabilizing them, psychological counseling should be conducted in a low-stress state to obtain more accurate diagnosis results. Stress measurement is also useful in identifying the causes of psychological distress in abused children. To this end, Hyundai Mobis developed ‘M.Brain’ technology, which uses brain waves to determine the level of stress in real time. With this technology, the child’s stress level can be quantitatively identified, and effective psychological counseling is possible according to the results of real-time stress measurement.
Q. How about the principle of determining the level of stress in children?
Hyundai Mobis’ Embrain technology measures stress through brainwave signals. EEG is considered one of the most difficult bio-signals to analyze, but measurement has become easier as a small earset houses sophisticated EEG measurement technology. When a patient wears the earset, the metal part touches the skin to detect the brain wave signal, and analyzes the changing brain wave in real time to determine the patient’s stress level. Stress is measured in three levels, and the counselor can check the information in real time.
Q. How is EEG-based stress measurement technology used in therapy?
The advantage of EEG-based stress measurement technology is that stress levels can be easily quantified. In the past, counselors subjectively identified the child’s psychological state, but this technology can more accurately diagnose the child’s psychological state by identifying the amount of stress. In addition, regular stress measurements are possible by simply wearing the equipment, so this technology can accumulate data. The stress statistics obtained through this are expected to be of great help to regular psychological counseling.
Q. The interior of iCAREcar is filled with displays. What technologies does this cabin house?
Since iCAREcar functions as a sanctuary for abused children and a space for psychological counseling, it is most important to create a sense of psychological stability for them. Therefore, Hyundai Mobis utilized DTx (Digital Therapeutics) technology to help reduce stress in an indoor structure optimized for counseling. The technology maximizes the patient’s psychological stability by utilizing an immersive display and video content that surrounds the viewer. iCAREcar has a total of 4 displays that fill the side, rear and ceiling, and created a realistic media environment with a sound bar and mood lamp.
Q. How can digital therapy (DTx) technology reduce stress in child patients?
Digital therapy (DTx) technology, together with recently known immersive technology, reduces the patient’s stress with dedicated content that helps psychological stability. The space surrounded by displays on all sides provides children with a virtual mobility experience through immersive images, and a program that induces deep breathing allows them to achieve psychological stability without the help of a counselor.
The core content of digital therapy (DTx) technology consists of space travel, night safari, aquarium, and deep breathing. Of these, space travel is the focus of the campaign video; The video shows an abused child experiencing space travel, gaining an understanding of himself, regaining emotional stability, and returning home safely. What this shows is that iCAREcar has technology that well expresses the role of ‘Metamobility’, which functions as a medium to connect virtual spaces.
Q. Were there any difficulties in creating multiple displays and multimedia environments inside the vehicle?
First, attaching four large displays to the inside of the vehicle itself was a big challenge. In addition, great efforts were made to perfectly install not only the display but also various devices to operate it in a limited space. The location of the display also reveals the interior’s sophisticated design; The display was set to the optimal position to create an immersive viewing environment considering the sitting height of children, and driving stability was improved by considering the cooling of the display and other devices. In addition, efforts were made on the interior design of the vehicle, which has undergone structural changes. It focused on creating a space optimized for psychological counseling with perfect interior finishes as well as mood lamps that create various indoor atmospheres.
Q. What is the story behind the development of the new iCAREcar by Hyundai Motor Group?
Hyundai Motor Group has been carrying out social contribution activities to prevent child abuse since 2014. Over the past seven years, 136 vehicles have been donated to 69 specialized child protection agencies across the country, and the donated vehicles have been used for on-site investigations of child abuse and home visits. However, despite these efforts, child abuse is still a serious social problem. Accordingly, Hyundai Motor Group planned to develop an iCAREcar that contributes to therapy and heal beyond the role of a vehicle. This campaign is different from those of the past because it accurately identifies child abuse and provides realistic help to the children with Hyundai Motor Group’s humane cutting-edge technology. Hyundai Motor Group plans to more actively support patients’ therapy and recovery with the new iCAREcar.
Q. Lastly, how will iCAREcar be used in the future?
Through the ‘Heals on Wheels’ campaign, Hyundai Motor Group plans to continuously develop and expand iCAREcar to specialized child protection agencies across the country. The automaker plans to develop this mobility technology more elaborately from a child’s point of view, and will continue to provide expanded support for the vehicle to child protection agencies across the country. The iCAREcar developed by Hyundai Motor Group and its humane mobility technology may not only heal abused children, but also give them an opportunity to have hope for life.
Photography by Jo Hyuk-soo
HMG Journal Operation Teamgroup@hyundai.com
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