Honda has delivered 10 Odyssey MPVs to the City of Detroit, Michigan, USA which have been modified to transport healthcare workers, those infected by the Covid-19 virus and also to protect the drivers of these vehicles.
Following the initiatives started out by Honda in Japan who’ve similarly built specially-equipped vehicles based on the Odyssey for the same purpose, the state officials in Michigan requested for the same – prompting Honda’s engineers and fabricators to conceive their own version.
As a result, the Odysseys have been retrofitted with a sealed, clear polycarbonate plastic barrier isolating the driver from the occupants at the back. Modifications have also been made to the Odyssey’s ventilation system to maintain different air pressure between the front and rear sections.
To achieve this, Honda engineers designed a software to control the ventilation system – ensuring that air pressure difference is in compliance with the guidelines from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for negative pressure rooms.
The software sets the blower motors in the front to run faster than those at the rear seating area. The difference in air pressure creates a more negative pressure chamber at the back. The air in the rear section then exits through the vents by the tailgate. From the design stages to fabrication and assembly, it took Honda’s engineers from Ohio, USA just two weeks to complete the build.
The modified Odysseys in Japan are smaller in size compared to the 8-seater version in the US market that was designed, developed and engineered in the US and is made exclusively at a Honda plant in Lincoln, Alabama.
Locally, Honda Malaysia recently announced that after sales services at selected service centres will resume operations in stages however its sales office, dealer showrooms and manufacturing facilities will remain closed.
Services carried out during this period will be on appointment basis only; walk-ins will not be allowed. Operating service outlets will also be implementing “contactless car-drop service” to maintain social distancing practises.