A diversified range of ideas cover improving safety, user experience and digital integration

The complexities faced by automakers these days in adapting their businesses to extend beyond selling cars is summed up with Honda’s presentation at CES 2017. It unveiled a collection of projects under the name of the Cooperative Mobility Ecosystem that explores intersections between transportation, digital integration and robotics. In parts, the concepts each address a facet of improving people’s experiences with moving from place to place. We see that approach elsewhere in the industry. Honda’s move to wrap it in a broader strategy that integrates other businesses is one mirrored mostly only by Ford at this point.

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The most automotive of the concepts presented is as you might have guessed, a concept car. The NeuV (pronounced “new-v”) or New Electric Urban Vehicle is what results when you mash up a smart car and a Tesla. The NeuV two-seater microcar showcased two big ideas: shared use and an AI driver companion system.

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The NeuV aims to eliminate idle time by becoming an autonomous ride share vehicle while the owner is not using it. When it is in use, HANA (Honda Automated Network Assistant) serves an AI driving companion which can sense and respond to the driver’s emotions. Developed by Honda and SoftBank, the HANA has the ability to alter vehicle settings, lighting and music automatically in response to a driver’s mood. So hypothetically you’d get a brightly lit interior and speed metal to wake you up on the way to work and more subdued lighting and some chill jazz on the commute home.

The Honda Riding Assist Motorcycle looks magical and possibly mistaken for an April Fools’ viral video. But it appears Honda engineers have robotized a Honda Motorcycle to balance itself while standing still and at low speeds—with or without a rider. The system doesn’t use gyroscopes and instead incorporates balancing technology adapted from the Honda UNI-CUB mobility seat.

It might be another case of sci-fi becoming real-world with Honda’s Safe Swarm concept. Similar to the Arklet’s asteroid avoidance system from Neil Stephenson novel Seveneves, Safe Swarm “enables vehicles to operate cooperatively, enabling more efficient, low-stress and, ultimately, collision-free mobility.” Honda cites the collective movements of schools of fish as their inspiration for the safety technology. Cars would be able to communicate with each other in short range to react to a road hazard or move more efficiently through a construction zone.

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One final project of interest is the result of a collaboration between Honda’s Silicon Valley Studio, Visa and petroleum infrastructure maker Gilbarco Veeder-Root with IPS Group. The project allows for in-car payment for services like parking and fuel from a dashboard touch screen.

Additional projects from the Cooperative Mobility Ecosystem are spotlighted in Honda’s 2017 CES Press Conference video:

Honda

The complexities faced by automakers these days in adapting their businesses to extend beyond selling cars is summed up with Honda’s presentation at CES 2017. It unveiled a collection of projects under the name of the Cooperative Mobility Ecosystem that explores intersections between transportation, digital integration and robotics. In parts, the concepts each address a facet of improving people’s experiences with moving from place to place. We see that approach elsewhere in the industry. Honda’s move to wrap it in a broader strategy that integrates other businesses is one mirrored mostly only by Ford at this point.