Honda delivered 10 modified Odyssey minivans to the City of Detroit to protect the health of the driver from the potential risk of getting virus during transportation. The Honda modified the Odysseys with a plastic barrier installed behind the front seating area. Ventilation system is also reconfigured to maintain an air pressure differential between the front and rear seating areas.
The City of Detroit approached the company in US in mid-April about the possibility of acquiring modified vehicles for transporting local residents and healthcare workers to COVID-19 testing.
Mayor Mike Duggan, City of Detroit said, “As of today, the City of Detroit has tested over 20,000 residents and employees for COVID-19. Transportation is a critical component of ensuring every Detroiter has access to a test. We are very appreciative of Honda for choosing Detroit to deploy these newly modified vehicles”.
The team of Honda engineers and experts took the project and complete it in less than two weeks.
Rick Schostek, executive vice president of American Honda Motor Co., Inc said, “We’re very proud of the efforts made by Honda engineers in Ohio to quickly devise a plan and modify a small fleet of Honda Odyssey minivans to support the people of Detroit in the face of this unprecedented global pandemic”.
The Japan’s Odyssey minivan modified version is a smaller vehicle than the eight-seat U.S. version of the Honda Odyssey.
Mike Wiseman, senior director for Strategic and Materials Research of Honda R&D Americas, said, “Several members of our team have family members or friends working in the medical field to battle COVID-19 or know people who have family members battling COVID-19 infection and this became a very personal challenge to help potential victims and their families”.
Mike said that at Honda, they believe that the purpose of technology is to help people and make their lives better. Mark de la Vergne, Chief of Mobility Innovation for the City of Detroit, pleased with this innovation from the Honda team and said that this will be critical to transporting passengers during this time.
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