Honda is helping children aged four to nine at Children’s Health of Orange County (CHOC) get from their hospital rooms to their medical appointments with a new vehicle called “Shogo.”
The name comes from a Japanese word and is intended to mean “soaring into the future.” Featuring hand controls, a steering wheel, and no doors, the vehicle is perfect for young patients who want to get to their appointments in the most fun way possible.
“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,” said Randall Smock, a senior exterior designer who helped design 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.”
The small electric vehicle can reach speeds of up to 5 mph (8 km/h), though it can be limited to just 1 mph (1.6 km/h) for kids whose need for speed is stronger than their need for safety. Its rear wheels can also be lifted off the ground completely to allow a nurse, doctor, or guardian to control the vehicle.
That same handle is also designed to hold IV drips and there’s a frunk to allow drivers to bring toys with them to their destination. Shogo also has cup holders, a horn with different sound options, and a holder where patients can put a license plate that they have decorated themselves.
Honda says its engineers worked hand-in-hand with the staff at CHOC to verify the feasibility of the concept. Honda even created a hospital hall test track and invited children to drive a prototype version of Shogo to ensure that it was safe and user-friendly.
“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,” said Brianne Ortiz, manager of the Cherese Mari Laulhere Child Life Department at CHOC. “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.”
Honda has produced a video showing the vehicle off (above), and it will play a shortened version of it during the 133rd Rose Parade on January 1, 2022.