A few weeks ago, a heroic little six-year-old girl made headlines when she calmly took care of a fire at home and saved her family from disaster. She told reporters that the training and education she had gotten in the past helped her keep her composure and save valuable lives in that emergency situation. For perhaps reasons just like that little girl, Hyundai Motor Company has recognized the importance of safety education for children since long ago. Today, it continues to focus on its safety campaigns to help ensure the happiness of young children and as part of these efforts, Hyundai has been hosting the “Robocar Poli Traffic Safety Class” in addition to the “Children's Safety King Exhibition” since 2012.
In particular, the “Hyundai Motor Company Traffic Safety Experience Center on Wheels”, which began last year across five cities (Seoul, Cheonan, Busan, Gimcheon, and Gwangju), received rave reviews from participating children and parents. As for the “6th Children's Safety King Exhibition” this year, it was a special opportunity to round out the “Hyundai Motor Company Traffic Safety Experience Center on Wheels” project for the past year. Not only that, the recent exhibition was a chance for the event to showcase a brand-new look featuring a variety of newly added programs for children including those using virtual reality (VR) technology. We invite you to come along and take a peek into this year’s “Children’s Safety King Exhibition” where children had a chance to learn about safety in a fun and interesting way.
Hyundai Motor Company creates a new paradigm for children’s safety education
"Children's Safety King Exhibition", safety education tailored to children
February 23, a long line of people was formed to get inside the Dongdaemun Design Plaza (DDP). Who were they and what were they waiting for? They were parents and children - more than 2,000 of them - waiting for the “6th Children's Safety King Exhibition” to open its gates. Since December 1 last year, Hyundai Motor Company had been offering the online “Children’s Safety King” program on its Kids Hyundai website. To date, more than 120,00 children had taken the program and received their very own “safety certificates”. Children who received these “safety certificates” were invited to the “Children's Safety King Exhibition” for a chance to book a spot at the exhibition and participate for free. This year’s event took activities to another level with a new VR zone and other systems to facilitate visitors including mobile phone reservations and a waiting notification system using Kakao Talk. It was a chance for children to come and physically experience what they had learned online about safety under different circumstances. Look at the photo. Can’t you just see the excitement and anticipation on the children’s faces?
As soon as the children and parents poured into the exhibition hall, the opening ceremony began. Several officials from participating organizations including Hyundai Motor Company, the Ministry of Public Safety and Security (MPSS), Citizens' Coalition for Safety, and other partners joined the ceremony to celebrate the event. MPSS Vice Minister Lee Sang-ho declared the exhibition open saying, “Safety education, along with interest and care from us adults, will help ensure happiness for our children.” In return, Hyundai Motor Company Managing Director Lee Hwa-won said, “Hyundai will do its absolute best to promote safety education to keep our children out of harms way.” The crowd showed their appreciation for such inspiring words with a big round of applause. Soon after, percussion performance group ‘Cheongmyeong’ took the stage for an uplifting ‘Nanta’ performance to get the exhibition going. It didn’t take long for the anticipation to build up. When the children in the audience all joined together to shout, “We protect our own safety!”, the exhibition got under way.
A reunion with the “Robocar Poli Traffic Safety Class”
What’s one thing you simply cannot miss at the “Children's Safety King Exhibition”? It was of course the “Robocar Poli Traffic Safety Class”. Hyundai Motor Company first opened the “Robocar Poli Traffic Safety Class” in 2013 and the “Robocar Poli Traffic Safety Park” the very next year, contributing significantly in the field of safety education for children. Since then, Hyundai began offering the “Traffic Safety Education Tour” program that involved Hyundai traveling to regions with less opportunities for traffic safety education. These initiatives all helped Hyundai Motor Corporation shift the paradigm for children’s safety education. Robocar Poli remained a crowd favorite in this year’s event as well.
At the “Robocar Poli Traffic Safety Class”, children were able to take part in a variety of traffic safety education programs all in one place. First up, children were invited to get on board yellow school buses. Once inside, they were shown specific and detailed safety rules - “buckle up your seatbelt”, “no heads or hands outside the window” - to prevent accidents from happening while the get on and off their school buses. After that, children were instructed by their safety class teachers to head over to the “Virtual Reality Fire Tunnel Zone”. They passed through a tunnel where a fire had broken out to learn how to avoid toxic gases and how to evacuate from danger. Also, they used dummies to learn how to perform CPR. As the children listened intently to their teachers, they almost looked like they had become real first responders.
“Should you drive under the influence of alcohol?” “No, you will be too dizzy! It’s dangerous!” The next activity in order was the “DUI Class” Children wore special glasses made to recreate how it feels to drive under the influence of alcohol. As they walked around with their glasses on, it seemed they really experienced how dangerous it is to drive drunk. Preventative education like this against DUI will play a huge role in helping children keep themselves safe even after they grow up and become adults. Right next to the DUI class was “Pedestrian safety and bicycle zone”. Here, at a zebra crossing that looked like the real thing, children learned and reviewed the three safety principles, ‘stop, look, cross’. Also, at the bicycle safety corner, children took part in ‘egg drop’ experiments to learn about the importance of safety helmets and also learned how to ride bicycles safely. Once they had finished all the courses available that day, each child could call themselves a “Safety King”. They finished up their “Robocar Poli Traffic Safety Class” experience taking photos as police officers. All participating children at the exhibition received a “Home Traffic Safety Kit” featuring a sketchbook, walking toy, and DVD as a parting gift.
Cutting-edge safety education contents for children at the “VR Experience Zone”
This year’s exhibition had more features and programs to offer compared to last year. One of these new features was the “VR Experience Zone” which felt more real than reality itself. In different locations across Halls 1 and 2, Hyundai prepared corners where visitors could use VR to experience vivid recreations of various emergency and disaster situations. There were plenty of children already at the VR zone for the virtual traffic safety prepared by Hyundai Motor Company and the Citizens' Coalition for Safety. Here, children were able to experience a number of traffic safety situations they normally couldn’t during the course of every day life. They saw how jaywalking is dangerous from a driver’s perspective, and they also experienced just how problematic blind spots are. The VR zone was able to give its audience a much broader spectrum of experiences since it didn’t have any spatial or physical restrictions.
The VR zone, designed for disaster situations, where children could experience fire, earthquakes, and air plan accidents, also attracted a steady stream of children. The VR experience for fire evacuation developed by the Seoul Metropolitan Fire and Disaster Headquarters helped children experience fire situations and taught them how to escape and respond when a fire breaks out. Meanwhile, at the VR zone by the Children Center Society and Insurance Association, visiting children experienced an earthquake with the VR equipment and then went into a real earthquake room to try their hand at the safety rules they had learned.
“It feels like a real earthquake” says Kim Do-yool (7) after participating in the air plane accident and earthquake VR experience at the Korea Safety Education Association VR zone. Do-yool looked so surprised and amazed with the experience. Since children were able to learn safety rules and how to respond in disaster situations using such special activities, hopefully they will remember them for a very long time.
Becoming first responders and airline passengers to experience safety situations first hand
“What’s the first thing we should do when we get on a plane?” “Seat belts!” Children could be heard shouting out answers from far away. Here, Hyundai helped reproduce the actual seating arrangements inside an aircraft using a model air plane. At the “Aircraft Safety” corner, children were able to learn aircraft passenger safety rules and emergency exit procedures with some help from actual cabin crew professionals. As if they were actually on board a plane, they paid attention to instructions and learned how