LOS ANGELES, Feb. 16, 2005 – The National Safety Council and American Honda Motor Co., Inc. today launched “Step to Safety with ASIMO,” a new safety video program in which Honda’s humanoid robot, ASIMO, teaches young children how to safely cross the street. Thousands of these unique, child-friendly safety videos are being distributed free to educators, law enforcement officers, government officials and child safety advocates across the nation to raise awareness of pedestrian safety and to help prevent pedestrian injuries and fatalities among children.
“Children love ASIMO’s extraordinary human-like movements and friendly design, so we believe ASIMO will help communicate our message to children about the importance of pedestrian safety,” said Jeffrey Smith, Assistant Vice President of Corporate Affairs & Communications at American Honda. “Honda is committed to ‘Safety for Everyone,’ which includes pedestrians as well as automobile occupants, and education is an important part of our overall safety initiative.”
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 22 percent of children between the ages of five and nine who were killed in traffic crashes in 2003 were pedestrians. Dashing across the street at an intersection and in the middle of the block are the most common ways such youthful pedestrians are injured or killed, according to the latest data from the Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center.
“Step to Safety with ASIMO” teaches safe and responsible street crossing procedures to young children ages five to nine. This engaging and educational safety program includes a 14-minute video and related classroom activities. In the video, the ASIMO robot interacts with children, using its human-like mobility to demonstrate how to stop at curbs, look in every direction and cross streets at intersections.
“Each year, one of the primary risks our children face is being injured or killed as pedestrians by motor vehicles,” said Chuck Hurley, Vice President of the National Safety Council’s Transportation Group. “This program is based on principles proven to reduce those risks, and will be a valuable tool for educators and others to keep children safe when they are walking in their communities. We are delighted to work with Honda to bring about this initiative.”
Educators and safety advocates can request a free DVD or VHS copy of “Step to Safety with ASIMO” through Honda’s ASIMO Web site, asimo.honda.com.
ASIMO (Advanced Step in Innovative Mobility) has the ability to climb stairs, walk forward and backward, turn smoothly without pausing, and maintain balance while walking on uneven slopes and surfaces. Honda engineers began developing a humanoid robot in 1986 for the purpose of someday helping people in need. After years of research and development, they created an advanced humanoid robot able to function in real-world environments. ASIMO has two arms and two hands, which ease such tasks as reaching for and grasping objects, switching lights on and off, or opening and closing doors. For additional information about ASIMO, please visit asimo.honda.com.
About the National Safety Council
The National Safety Council is a nonprofit, nongovernmental, international public service organization dedicated to protecting life and promoting health. Members of the NSC include more than 45,000 businesses, labor organizations, schools, public agencies, private groups and individuals. Founded in 1913, and chartered by the U.S. Congress in 1953, the primary focus of the NSC is preventing injuries that occur in workplaces, homes, communities and motor vehicles. For more information about the NSC, visit the website at www.nsc.org or contact your local NSC chapter.
Honda is one of the world's leading producers of mobility products including its diverse line-up of automobiles, motorcycles and ATVs, power products, marine engines and personal watercraft. This diverse product line-up has also made Honda the world's preeminent engine-maker, with production of more than 19 million engines globally in 2004. On a global basis, Honda has more than 120 manufacturing facilities in 31 nations.
Honda began operations in North America in 1959 with the establishment of American Honda Motor Co., Inc., Honda's first overseas subsidiary. Honda began assembling motorcycles in America in 1979, with U.S. automobile manufacturing starting in 1982. Honda now employs more than 26,000 Americans in the design, manufacture and marketing of its products in America. Honda currently builds products in 12 manufacturing plants in North America, with three major R&D centers in the U.S.