In an effort to provide comfort and joy to young, hospitalised patients, Honda has introduced Shogo, an electric ride-on vehicle specifically designed to navigate hospital hallways to transport children. Developed in-house by Honda engineers under Project Courage, the initiative demonstrates the incredible impact that play and laughter can make in the life of a hospitalised child, including easing the stress and anxiety of young patients and their families.
Currently, the Shogo is in use at the Children’s Health of Orange County (CHOC) Hospital, which is one of Honda’s long-term partners. Over the years, the carmaker has introduced several initiatives to brighten the experience of young patients, many of which are based on virtual reality technology.
The Shogo takes things a step further, as Honda engineers worked with staff at CHOC to verify the feasibility of the concept before actually building it. This includes testing the Shogo through a dedicated course inside the company’s R&D facility designed to replicate a hospital hallway route with actual children and parents to ensure the electric ride-on vehicle was safe to operate when delivered to the hospital.
The result is a stylish single-seater without doors to make it safe for young patients to enter or exit the vehicle. It also has a central seating position with steering controls suitable and accessible for a child, along with smooth and soft-to-the-touch surfacing that is easy to keep clean in a hospital setting.
Other features include an integrated IV pole holder and a push bar that provides caregivers the option to manually push the vehicle when needed. To make the child’s experience more comfortable, the Shogo also has a toy bucket in the front for the vehicle for items the child would like to bring along with them, cup holders, a centre horn with different sound options and even a customisable licence plate slot to display the name of each rider.
Honda says the name Shogo is based on a Japanese word intended to mean “soaring into the future,” and was built to focus on young patients aged four through nine years, who are able to easily drive the vehicle.
It also has an adjustable speed of 0.28-8 km/h (1-5 mph), which is controlled by a handler such as a nurse or caregiver. The electrified Shogo aligns with the carmaker’s vision to make electrified vehicles (EV) represent 40% of sales in 2030, on the way to 100% EVs by 2040, with the Prologue leading the way in the United States in 2024.
“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. To see the joy on the faces of these young patients when they get behind the wheel of Shogo is truly rewarding,” said Hundy Liu, manager of national automobile advertising, American Honda Motor Company.
“As someone who spent time in the hospital as a young child, I really wanted the number one objective of our Honda team in developing Shogo to ease the hardship of a hospital stay by providing kids a lasting positive memory about that experience,” added Randall Smock, a senior exterior designer of vehicles at American Honda Motor Company who played a significant role in the design of Shogo, as well as the testing of the vehicle.
“Every element of Shogo was designed to accommodate different needs of young children, making it as easy as possible to get in and out, simple to drive, and for the entire experience to leave them a bit happier,” he continued.
“Our team greatly appreciates Honda bringing innovative solutions that support our ongoing commitment to providing an exceptional patient experience and infusing joy into a patient’s stay. We were impressed from the beginning when we first saw Shogo, and by the Honda team’s dedication in collaborating with our staff to ensure a vehicle that is perfect – and safe – for our young patients,” commented Brianne Ortiz, manager of the Cherese Mari Laulhere Child Life Department at CHOC.
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