Going into surgery can be stressful enough for well-informed adults, but spare a thought for children on their way to the operating theater. As a way to make such journeys a little more enjoyable, Rolls-Royce has constructed a pint-sized vehicle that lets kids drive themselves to the OR in luxury.
The car was built to cruise the corridors of St. Richard's Hospital Pediatric Day Surgery Unit, which is reflected in the vehicle's name: the Rolls-Royce SRH. The hospital is located in the home town of Roll-Royce Motor Cars Limited, Chichester, West Sussex, and features "traffic signs" along the halls that drivers are presumably expected to obey.
Seating just the driver, the Rolls-Royce SRH is powered by a 24-volt gel battery driving an electric motor that propels the car to a top speed of 10 mph (16 km/h). However, parents wanting their child to maintain a "statelier" speed can limit it to 4 mph (6.4 km/h).
The car was produced by The Roll's-Royce Bespoke Manufacturing team, who spent over 400 hours of their own time putting it together, making use of 3D printing and hand-crafting techniques for various components, such as the Spirit of Ecstasy hood ornament and bespoke paddle controls.
Other features include two-tone steering wheel, seats and self-righting wheel centers that are colored to match the vehicle's St James Red coachline. This hand-applied coachline contrasts with the two-tone Andalusian White and Salamanca Blue paint scheme.
"It's wonderful seeing a smiley face on the way to theater, rather than an apprehensive one, and everyone caring for children at St Richard's is so grateful to Rolls-Royce for this unique donation," says Sue Nicholls, Paediatric Matron at Western Sussex Hospitals NSH Foundation Trust. "We know boys and girls alike will love driving it and in the coming years it will help turn a daunting experience into a more fun and enjoyable one for hundreds and hundreds of children."
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