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Sonata Chaka-Chaka Playground


Hyundai Motors

Sonata steering system for visually impaired children to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the sonata

What does car mean to visually impaired children?

Just like when we were young, we wanted to drive our own cars when became adults, wouldn't visually impaired children want to drive freely someday?


This project started with the idea of giving hope to children, just like us in our childhood, through the possibility and experience of driving freely.


How can we develop a driving UX that enables stable driving even for visually impaired children?

To solve this challenge, Buyrus Design applied an integrated design process in which the UX Lab and designers combined to participate in decision making to discover and develop the optimal Human Machine Interface (HMI).

Project Director

Lee Jaeyoung


Park Gwanwoo

Research &

Usability Test

Kim Mirim








Shaping Up


preliminary research
​User Observation Survey

Fact Analysis

UX Insight Development

Minimum Viable Proto

idea sketch

deepen design

Production of Working M/up

HMI design/operability evaluation

​Final design and UI development

Deepdive Understanding

Creative Thinking

Identifying user characteristics through

user observations and collecting needs

about driving experiences from the perspective of visually impaired children

First, we asked visually impaired children.

“If you could drive a car, what would you like to experience?”


The children answered like this :

“I want to drive a real car, not a bumper car.”

“A car that goes somewhere if you step on it freely. I just want

the car to go following my will.”

Not a passive driving method,

but an active way for visually impaired children to drive directly

Children had a strong desire to do something freely on their own and

had a need to experience independence through driving.

Therefore, the car for them had to be an active way they could drive directly,

not a passive way that someone drive for them.

Effects of Visual Impairment on Cognitive Function

range of experience and

Diversity is limited

Imitation learning and accidental learning are not possible.

​lack of visual motivation

​of walking ability


Limitations in walking ability are associated with experience opportunities and

Affect social relationships

Affects psychological, physical, social values, values in daily life, etc.

of interaction with the environment


It is difficult to verify information, escape from the environment, expressive behavior, etc., and it is difficult to be observed by someone else.

So, how can we provide driving experiences to children?

At first, we started with the vague idea of 'Shouldn't we apply voice guidance and tactile maps to the vehicle?’. Understanding what restrictions visually impaired children have in their daily lives and how they overcome those, we conducted a user observation survey that directly observes and interviews children's daily lives in order to apply familiar and accurate information to the vehicles.

As a result of the survey, visually impaired children were largely using two methods: ‘auditory mapping’ and ‘using braille/tactile information’ to overcome the limitations of their daily environment and interaction and to acquire information.

“I fell a lot at first.

Then I practiced and got better.

When my dad claps and runs away, I hear it

It's fun to chase and catch them."

​Kim XX, 4th grade


“There is a picture that sticks out like Braille.

I draw like this when I draw at school.

You can know what the shape looks like by touching the picture expressed with protruding lines."

Park XX, 4th grade

Based on the results of the survey, many visually impaired children are learning how to image using various senses without visual information, Buyrus Design proposed to provide additional auditory steering signals to the existing idea of providing voice guidance and tactile guidance. When the sensor on the front of the vehicle recognizes spatial information and converts it into an audible signal and provides it through the speaker, it guides children to recognize the direction by sound and steer the vehicle.

MVPMinimum Viable Proto

Design Shaping Up

Based on the user research results, Buyrus Design UX Lab and designers conducted several workshops to refine the actual HMI and define the implementation framework.



Deriving final improvement plan through HMI design/ease of operation evaluation

We conducted an experiment in which children operate the vehicle to determine the user's response to the first completed HMI.

Since it was in the testing stage, there was a safety issue for children to get on and operate the vehicle. How can we experiment in an environment close to the actual driving situation while ensuring children's safety?

As a result, the 1:1 Driving Simulation Usability Test was conducted by connecting a car game handle and brake to the PC and wearing a headset to create an environment similar to the actual track as possible.


"Because steering signal number 1 is the shortest and fastest,

It seems clear and comfortable to operate.

Other signals feel a bit slow

Signal 1 is the best when driving."


We collected opinions on the most preferred design by checking the operational feeling, aesthetic evaluation, and improvement points of Working Prototype, and we analyzed the evaluation on task performance and clear feedback delivery in scenarios. Based on the HMI evaluation analysis, the final prototype and UI guide were derived by reflecting the improvements.

Mini Sonata equipped with the HMI could present dreams and hopes to visually impaired children at the “Chakachaka Playground”, a car-themed playground opened in Seoul Grand Park in Gwacheon on October 29, 2015 to mark the 30th anniversary of the Sonata's launch. Children must have experienced new joy and accomplishment through the experience of driving a car themselves.

What is Chaca Chaca Playground?

Chaka Chaka Playground, located near the Valley Plaza in Seoul Grand Park, is named with a combination of the Korean and English words ‘cha’ and ‘car’ so that children can feel familiar with cars.


Chaka Chaka Playground consists of Mini Sonata Zone, Giant Sonata Zone, Animal Zone, Mini Playground, and Rest Area, and it is decorated with new leisure activities and educational spaces for children and families.


Chaka Chaka Playground was operated for 3 years since October 2015 and served as a space for visually impaired children to drive their own cars having a dream, but it was closed on October 29, 2018 due to the aging of the facility.


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