TORRANCE, Calif., Dec. 20, 2021 – Honda is helping to provide comfort and joy to young, hospitalized patients with the introduction of “Shogo.” Shogo is an electric ride-on vehicle for kids designed by Honda engineers to help ease the stress and anxiety of children and their families by transporting young patients throughout their hospital stay. Called “Project Courage,” and captured in a short film debuting today, this initiative demonstrates the amazing impact that play and laughter can make in the life of a hospitalized child.
Developed in-house by Honda engineers, Shogo is an electric ride-on vehicle specifically designed to navigate hospital hallways to transport children. It is equipped with features and elements to help bring joy to young patients as they continue on their road to recovery.
Honda Shogo is currently in use at CHOC Hospital, one of Honda’s long-term partners.
“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,” said 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.”
Randall Smock, a senior exterior designer of vehicles at American Honda Motor Co., Inc., played a significant role in the design of Shogo, as well as the testing of the vehicle.
“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 Smock. “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.”
As the first hospital to utilize Shogo in caring for young patients facing hospitalization, CHOC played a key role in verifying its feasibility and safety.
“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 Shogo Electric Ride-On Vehicle
Shogo, based on a Japanese word and intended to mean “soaring into the future,” was built to focus on young patients, ages 4 through 9, who can easily drive with power controls, manage the go/stop mechanism on the steering wheel, and an adjustable speed of 1-5 miles per hour, which is controlled by a handler such as a nurse or caregiver.
Developed with patient safety in mind, Shogo was built without doors to be safely and easily accessible for youth. Other features include central seating with steering controls suitable and accessible for a child, and smooth and soft-to-the-touch surfacing that is easy to keep clean in a hospital setting. Shogo also includes an IV pole holder and a push bar that offers caregivers the option to manually push the vehicle when needed. Features to make the child’s experience more comfortable include a toy bucket in the front of the vehicle for items the child would like to bring along with them, cup holders, a center horn with different sound options, and a customizable license plate slot to display the name of each rider.
Honda engineers worked hand-in-hand with the staff at CHOC to verify the feasibility of the concept. This included testing Shogo through a dedicated course inside the company’s research & development 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 collaboration with CHOC was critical in understanding how Shogo was being used in the actual hospital environment, so the team could continue to make further adjustments.
Developing Shogo as an electric vehicle was an obvious requirement for Honda engineers to ensure it could be accommodated in a hospital environment. But the electrified Shogo also aligns to the company’s recently-announced vision to make electrified vehicles (EV) represent 40% of sales in 2030, on the way to 100% EVs by 2040. Customers will see the Honda Prologue, the brand’s first new volume battery-electric vehicle (BEV) in 2024.
Honda and Children’s Health of Orange County
Honda has a long-standing relationship with CHOC, including a number of unique initiatives to brighten the experience of young patients receiving care at CHOC’s hospital in Orange, California.
- In 2016, Honda utilized Oculus headsets to create a virtual reality “Candy Cane Lane” for patients. The initiative included a giving program from Honda that supported CHOC and the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation for every “like” or “love” received by a Candy Cane Lane video.
- In 2017, Honda used virtual reality technology to invite young patients inside a virtual snow globe, where they could explore and interact with holiday-themed elements. The initiative included an augmented reality “Ultimate Get Well Card” with personalized messages to young patients from well-wishers around the country.
- In 2018, Honda again used virtual reality to create a one-of-a-kind winter wonderland in “The Magic Snow Globe,” an interactive world personalized for pediatric patients , while also supporting The Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation.
Project Courage at 2022 Rose Parade® presented by Honda
A 60-second version of the Honda Project Courage short film will air during the 133rd Rose Parade, which will be broadcast, nationally on ABC and NBC, as well as locally on KTLA. As presenting sponsor of the Rose Parade for the 12th consecutive year, Honda will lead the parade on New Year’s Day with the company’s “Believe and Achieve!” float aimed at promoting science, technology, engineering, arts and math (STEAM) education and inspiring young people to follow their dreams. 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, responsible for fabricating a number of interior components, as well as supporting the team in creating the body, surfacing and painting.