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Hippo Mat™
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Founded in 2019, Hippo Mat™ started life as a driving school operating in and around Brighton & Hove as U-DRIVE, and quickly built an amazing reputation for quality service, attention-to-detail, and professionalism.
In 2020, the first U-DRIVE product was developed and released – the Brighton Hippo Mat™ (Brighton Car Play Mat at the time).
The mat was a result of a nostalgic conversation on a balcony between two friends. It was concluded that “everyone had one of those play mats” as a child, however the question was asked of “why isn’t there a Brighton version?”. Alas, the seed was planted.
"I've always thought it makes sense for a driving school to provide quality driving products just as good as the tuition. If the same attention-to-detail, professionalism, and care which produced such rave reviews for driving lessons could be applied elsewhere, why couldn't U-DRIVE transition from a driving school company, to a company which creates quality driving-related products? Admittedly, this first item is a little different to your typical driving gadget, but that's why it's perfect."
Marcos Millet
U-DRIVE Owner
The intention of the mat was not only to satisfy the child within us all, but also serve as a real road safety and local area educational tool, with the latter being part of the KS1 Curriculum.
It’s safe to say it was a hit!

🤔

Naturally, the question was asked whether other places in the UK could have their own beautiful rendition of the popular children’s toy, and help spread the joy and benefits to places further than Brighton across the country.
However, “U-DRIVE” felt a bit out of place… A hippo seemed better.
After around 8 months of preparation (coincidentally around the same amount of time a hippo is pregnant for), Hippo Mat™ was born!
2021 sees 11 more locations each with their own original car play mat!
The premise of Hippo Mat™ is to create original car play mats with an extra emphasis on educational play, since learning about Local Geography is part of the KS1 Curriculum. Because of the local nature of the item, it makes sense to work with local talent within the community. Each Hippo Mat™ is designed by an artist who lives in that area!

Hippo Mat™ is
local educational original

Our Values

The Japanese define quality in two ways – atarimae hinshitsu and miryokuteki hinshitsu. The first term atarimae hinshitsu, refers to the expectation that the item works the way it was intended. Miryokuteki hinshitsu means “bewitching” or “enchanting quality” and refers to the desirability or aesthetic appeal of the product. In essence, by focusing on both, you ensure your product works the way a customer wants and is also desirable to have (it has soul). U-DRIVE operates in the UK, and sources materials localy when possible, however this Japanese ideology of quality is interesting, we strive to achieve Miryokuteki hinshitsu levels of quality in all products and services with a U-DRIVE label on them.

The Japanese define quality in two ways – atarimae hinshitsu and miryokuteki hinshitsu. The first term atarimae hinshitsu, refers to the expectation that the item works the way it was intended. Miryokuteki hinshitsu means “bewitching” or “enchanting quality” and refers to the desirability or aesthetic appeal of the product. In essence, by focusing on both, you ensure your product works the way a customer wants and is also desirable to have (it has soul). U-DRIVE operates in the UK, and sources materials localy when possible, however this Japanese ideology of quality is interesting, we strive to achieve Miryokuteki hinshitsu levels of quality in all products and services with a U-DRIVE label on them.

WHy not try...

Checking out the first ever Hippo Mat™

Having a look at who already loves us?

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