Honda has introduced a new charity initiative called Project Courage, meant to alleviate the stress and anxiety of hospital stays for kids. With it comes the debut of a small electric vehicle named Shogo that will let young patients, when possible, drive themselves around instead of being transported by wheelchair.
The vehicle was developed in-house by a team of Honda engineers and was specifically designed to help kids navigate the hallways of a hospital.
Shogo is based on a Japanese word and is supposed to mean “soaring into the future.” The EV is geared toward patients aged 4 through 9 and has an adjustable speed between 1-5 mph, which is monitored by an accompanying nurse or caregiver.
The specs are fairly basic — a steering wheel with two paddles, one to go forward and one to reverse, controls the vehicle. There is also a failsafe built in, as a caster system on the back of the whip can disengage power to the wheels. A compartment located in the front is meant to provide toy storage and patients are encouraged to make their own paper license plates.
Ethical Electronics — The presence of interactive technology in a hospital can feel ominous —perhaps the best example is the inclusion of Boston Dynamic’s terrifying robot dog, Spot, that began assisting a local hospital with COVID-19 treatment efforts. Shogo represents the other end of that spectrum, for once giving us something wholesome.
It’s also, on a much smaller scale, indicative of the direction Honda and other car manufacturers are leaning: electric. The long-term vision for Honda is to make electric vehicles 40 percent of sales in 2030 and increase that figure to 100 percent by 2040. Those figures come just short of Joe Biden’s.