LAS VEGAS, Jan 7 — A self-righting motorbike, a connected car model inspired by a school of fish and an autonomous electric vehicle that pays its own way are among the highlights on Honda’s CES 2017 stand.
The Honda Riding Assist motorcycle looks and behaves like a normal motorcycle. However, unlike other bikes, it should stay upright and balanced even when stationary, which is usually when bigger, powerful bikes are most likely to topple over. Honda has managed to create this self-righting bike using robotics, rather than gyroscopes, meaning that although much safer to ride, it isn’t any heavier than a standard bike.
“Since our founding, Honda has focused on creating technologies that help people,” said Yoshiyuki Matsumoto, President and CEO of Honda R&D Co, Ltd “Our goal is to showcase a future technology path that results in a redefined mobility experience.”
The bike is the perfect way of summing up Honda’s approach to this year’s event. The company is trying to find the right balance between electronics and emotion and between man and high-tech machine.
Its NeuV concept car, though imbued with artificial intelligence, also leverages these latest technological advances in order to build a relationship with its users. Like Toyota’s CES concept vehicle, the Concept-i, Honda’s car has an AI assistant with a nickname and personality traits: she’s called “Hana” and her job is to monitor the driver and passengers’ emotional well-being and to learn their routines and preferences so that she can recommend new routes, or even a new album to listen to.
Hana’s smartest trick is the ability to autonomously loan the NeuV out as a self-driving ride-sharing service, when the owner doesn’t need the car. Or, because the vehicle is electrically powered, sell stored energy back to the grid.
“We designed NeuV to become more valuable to the owner by optimising and monetising the vehicle’s down time,” said Mike Tsay, Principal Designer, Honda R&D Americas.
As for autonomous driving, Honda is looking to mimic the way schools of fish move together in harmony with its “safe swarm.” It lets all cars on the road move together in cooperation so that congestion and driver stress levels drop.
“Using vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure communications and drawing upon big data and artificial intelligence, Honda will work with others to create an environment in which road conditions are predicted and managed, and collisions are avoided,” said Frank Paluch, President, Honda R&D Americas. — AFP-Relaxnews