The sound of children’s laughter is not something you often hear at a hospital.
Yet in the hallways of Children’s Health of Orange County (CHOC Hospital) in Orange, California, the joyous sound of kids having fun will soon be a common occurrence. That’s because Honda teamed up with the hospital to create a first-of-its kind electric car made just for kids!
Say hello to Shogo, which comes from a Japanese word that means “soaring into the future.” The child-sized electric ride-on car was built by Honda through their charitable “Project Courage,” an initiative aimed at making hospital stays a little bit more fun for children battling serious illnesses.
Shogo was made entirely by Honda’s in-house engineers, and they’re incredibly proud of it. The car will be used at CHOC in place of wheelchairs. Now, patients can drive themselves to their treatments in various parts of the hospital, giving them a reason to look forward to these procedures instead of dreading them.
“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 of vehicles at American Honda Motor Co., Inc. “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.”
Shogo is meant for child drivers aged 4 through 9. The car has a simple stop/go mechanism they can easily use, and it’s capable of going about one to five miles per hour. Don’t worry, though; the speed is controlled not by the kids but by a nurse or caregiver walking alongside the car.
Safety was at the top of the engineers’ minds when making Shogo. The vehicle has no doors so kids can easily get in and out, a soft-to-the-touch interior that can be washed to stay sanitary in a hospital setting, and it comes equipped with an I.V. pole holder. There’s even a toy holder and a horn with different sound options, and kids can create their own custom license plate for the built-in holder.
The car is intended to add some much-needed happiness to the days of children going through unimaginable health problems.
“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 for 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.”
Honda worked closely with CHOC to ensure patients are safe and have a positive experience. So far, every patient who has tried Shogo has absolutely loved it!
“My favorite part of the experience was I heard Charlie laugh harder than I have the whole time that he’s been in the hospital,” said one mother whose son tested out Shogo. “So, hearing that laugh again, makes me want to cry just talking about it.”
What a fantastic invention! There’s nothing more beautiful than the sound of kids having fun, and we’re so delighted that caregivers at CHOC will get to hear that sound more often from now on.
Watch the joy on these kiddos’ faces in the video below, and don’t forget to share.
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