Tokyo 2005 > Automobiles > Special Needs Vehicles  
Fun for Everyone
Comfortable Mobility for All
Based on our respect for the individual, Honda believes in the dignity of each and every person. We are striving to extend the pleasures of a mobile lifestyle to as many people as possible by providing safe, comfortable, accessible transportation. That includes vehicles designed to be driven by people with physical disabilities. Honda’s Techmatic and Franz Systems allow people with leg and arm disabilities to select driving assist equipment tailored to their specific requirements. In addition, Honda’s Almas special needs vehicles offer those with special care requirements a range of vehicle enhancement choices to suit each individual.
1981: Honda Acts in Support of Mobility
Honda’s special needs vehicle program started in 1975 when we began providing drivers who have disabilities customized vehicles for use in driving tests. Six years later, we embarked on a project prompted by a letter we received from a woman who wrote, “Both my hands are disabled. Is there a way for people like myself to drive? My mother always does the driving, but one day I’d like her to be the passenger.” In response, we took up the challenge of meeting the driving needs of people with arm disabilities. Hearing of a foot-operated driving assistance system developed in Germany, we approached the inventor Eberhard Franz and enlisted his services in providing technical guidance to our project team. Then we further enhanced Franz’s system with our own technologies to complete the Honda Franz System. At the time, however, Japanese law did not permit people with arm disabilities to drive. Honda led a determined campaign in conjunction with other automakers to have the law amended. As a result, the Road Traffic Act was revised in 1981, and the following year Honda became the first automaker in Japan to introduce a passenger vehicle customized to the needs of drivers with arm disabilities. Since then the number of vehicles equipped with the Honda Franz System has increased to 72*, offering those with physical disabilitiese the chance to enjoy the freedom of mobility.
*Total number of vehicles with Honda Franz System sold (as of September 2005).
Driving Assist Systems Tailored to Every Need
The Honda Techmatic System was developed specifically for people with disabilities to help them drive with ease and comfort. Options include a manual driving supplemental device, left-foot-operated accelerator pedal for those with a disabled right foot, a steering aid knob for one-handed steering, and a turn signal for people with right-hand disabilities. This versatile system allows each user to select and tailor the system according to individual needs.
Other functions tailored to physical conditions
•Arm-type side brake lever •Ignition and starter switch •Automatic light controls •Sliding wiper switch •Foot-operated turn signal switch •Grab handles to assist in vehicle entry and exit
 


Photo : Odyssey
Japan’s only driving assist system for people with arm disabilities
The Franz System enables hands-free driving. After receiving technical guidance from the system’s inventor, Eberhard Franz, Honda augmented the system with original technology to make it even easier to operate. The system enables steering using back and forth movement and rotation of the foot. All systems sold are customized to best fit the individual driver. Honda offers comprehensive support, from helping disabled drivers obtain a driver’s license to driving instruction.  


Photo : Fit
Almas Series–smart support for those with special needs
Honda’s full lineup of special needs vehicles offers trouble-free access for those with disabilities.
   

STEP WGN
Side lift-up seat vehicle
 
Elysion
Passenger lift-up seat vehicle
 
Fit
Passenger swivel seat vehicle


The 4-Wheel Electric Vehicle MonPal: Experience the Joy of Mobility!
No driver’s license required*.The MonPal can be charged using a regular household 100V power outlet.
*The MonPal is accorded pedestrian status under the Road Traffic Act.
 


Photo : Deluxe model

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