Honda has created an electric ride-on vehicle, Shogo, to help ease the stress and anxiety of young patients as they are transported throughout their hospital stay.
Shogo, based on a Japanese word that means “soaring into the future,” was built for patients ages 4 through 9, who can easily drive with power controls and manage the go/stop mechanism on the steering wheel. It has an adjustable speed of 1-5 miles per hour, which is controlled by a handler such as a nurse or caregiver.
The electrified Shogo aligns to the company’s recently announced vision to make electrified vehicles represent 40% of sales in 2030, on the way to 100% EVs by 2040. The Honda Prologue, the brand’s first new volume battery-electric vehicle, is set for a 2024 launch.
Shogo, part of a new initiative called Project Courage, has been a true labor of love of Honda associates, says Hundy Liu, manager of national automobile advertising, American Honda Motor Co., Inc.
“To see the joy on the faces of these young patients when they get behind the wheel of Shogo is truly rewarding,” Liu says in a release.
The vehicle was exclusively designed in-house by Honda engineers and is currently in use at Children’s Health of Orange County in California. The facility is one of Honda’s long-term partners, dating back to 2016, when the automaker used Oculus headsets to create a virtual reality “Candy Cane Lane” for patients.
A longform video detailing the initiative launches on Honda social channels today. A 60-second version will air during the 133rd Rose Parade on New Year’s Day, broadcast nationally on ABC and NBC. A 60-second “making-of” video is also available on social media.
As presenting sponsor of the Rose Parade for the 12th consecutive year, Honda will lead with the company’s “Believe and Achieve!” float aimed at promoting science, technology, engineering, arts and math (STEAM) education.
The float will have four Honda associates aboard to celebrate women in STEAM-related fields, including Melanie Morimoto, a key contributor to Project Courage. Morimoto, a senior fabricator at American Honda Motor Co., Inc., was a member of the Shogo development team..