WAKO, Japan - Honda Motor Co. has designed a car that's friendly for dogs — part of the Japanese automaker's ongoing effort to create vehicles that are easy to use and comfortable to ride in.
The W.O.W. Concept, which stands for "wonderful openhearted wagon," is an exhibition model with no plans for commercial sale that will be exhibited at the Tokyo auto show later this month.
A special crate for dogs in the glove apartment allows owners to interact with their pets while driving. A bigger crate pops up from the floor in the back seat area and can be folded back into the floor when it's not needed. For even bigger dogs, just buckle them up with a special seat belt to the floor.
The big danger for pets riding along in cars is that they get thrown out during a crash. About a fifth of Japanese households have a dog, and demand is growing for cars that cater to man's best friend, according to Honda.
The W.O.W comes with removable, washable, rollout flooring and has wide sliding doors to keep dogs happy.
"We created this vehicle from the point of view of a dog, but it turned out to be a gentler vehicle for the elderly, children and other family members," said Honda designer Katsuhito Nakamura.