Honda Builds Electric Vehicle For Kids To Safely Drive Around In Hospitals
By Mikelle Leow, 27 Dec 2021
Hospitals can be daunting no matter how old you are. To allay the fears of young patients and help make their stays more enjoyable, Honda has developed a miniature electric ride-on vehicle—built for ages four through nine—that they can use to drive themselves around hallways.
The car, called ‘Shogo’ (meaning soaring into the future in Japanese), is currently in service at the Children’s Health Orange County (CHOC) Hospital. Honda’s engineers equipped the tiny automobile with kid-friendly touches, like easy-to-use steering controls and a go/stop mechanism located on the steering wheel. To ensure the rider is seated safely while on the move, there is no door.
Hospital personnel or caregivers can limit Shogo’s speed to between one and five miles per hour—though a horn also lets visitors know that the vehicle is near. An IV pole holder and push bar have also been fixed onto the car so that adults can “drive” patients around themselves.
For a more pleasant ride, a toy bucket is located in the front for the child to take their favorite items with them, and cup holders carry their beverages. The license plate area is also customizable to insert the driver’s name.
To keep conditions sanitary, the car’s finishes are intentionally smooth to ensure easy cleaning.
Before launching Shogo in the hospital, Honda’s research and development team tested it in its facility, where a hospital hallway route had been recreated for this purpose.
“Creating Shogo to help support these patients during what can be a stressful time in the hospital has been a labor of love for our passionate team of Honda associates and we’re especially proud to introduce Shogo during this holiday season at CHOC,” describes Hundy Liu, manager of national automobile advertising at American Honda Motor Co., in a statement published by Little Black Book. “To see the joy on the faces of these young patients when they get behind the wheel of Shogo is truly rewarding.”
Shogo is part of a Honda-led initiative called Project Courage, which aims to improve children’s lives by bringing more play and laughter. It also ties in with the automaker’s plans to go 100% electric by 2040.
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