Honda’s New Concept Car Is A Detachable Living Room That Drives
Ie-Mobi blurs the line between livable space and transportation with autonomous driving
Driverless cars will do more than just transform the way people are transported—they will demand an entire re-thinking of the car as a space where people will spend time while they aren’t behind the wheel. These could be new spaces for relaxation or productivity, or as Honda showed at this year’s Tokyo Motor Show, a seamless extension of one’s home.
Ie-Mobi (a combination of the Japanese word “Ie” meaning “home,” and “mobi” from “mobility”) is an electric-powered autonomous transportation concept that extends the home into a car. Ie-Mobi makes it possible to supply electricity from the vehicle to the home, and vice versa. Measuring in at just under five square meters, the car unit can also be used as a small room that slots neatly into the side of a building.
An animated video illustrates the potential uses for such a space. In one shot, a young boy is completing his homework on the way to school with his mother by his side. In another scene, an elderly couple are shown sipping tea when they decide to make an impromptu trip to the grocery store. Without them having to move, their chairs slide into place and the room detaches from the house and whizzes down the street.
Honda says Ie-Mobi is a part of its larger Honda Family Motor concept, which seeks to expand the amount of time families spend together. The company also suggests the concept could have broader uses outside of the home. “Its use is limited only by the imagination: open an impromptu cafe during the weekend, or a soup cafe or curry shop,” Honda said in a press statement.