Honda designed a tiny electric car to ease the stress and anxiety of hospitalized children. The Shogo was specifically designed to navigate hospital hallways and transport all the IV drips and monitoring machines a child might require. It allows them to drive themselves down the hallways to their treatments; turning what could be a stressful journey into a fun joy ride.
Randall Smock, a senior exterior designer of vehicles for Honda, played a significant role in the design of Shogo and called it a labor of love. “As someone who spent time in the hospital as a young child, I really wanted the number one objective of Shogo to be easing the hardship of a hospital stay by providing kids a lasting positive memory about that experience” Smock said. When talking about the creation of the car, it brought tears to the engineering teams’ eyes.
Shogo, based on a Japanese word intended to mean “soaring into the future,” it was built to focus on young patients, ages 4 through 9, who can easily drive with its power controls, 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. It includes a toy bucket in the front for items the child would like to bring along with them, cup holders, a horn with different sound options and a customizable license plate slot to display the name of each rider.
At Children’s Health of Orange County, California, you can see tots cruising the halls on their way to treatments. Hundy Liu, manager of national advertising at American Honda Motor Co. said “To see the joy on the faces of these young patients when they get behind the wheel of Shogo is truly rewarding.”