HONDA’S VISION OF THE FUTURE INTEGRATES CASE TECHNOLOGIES INTO NEW PRODUCTS AND SERVICES AT CES 2020
>> Smartphone as Brain” brings advanced connectivity to motorcycles
>> Honda Xcelerator showcases “Industrial Innovation” with demos from new startup partners
>> Honda Personal Assistant voice-enabled AI assistant seamlessly connects devices and controls cabin functions
>> Honda Energy Management Concept envisions mobile power sources that conveniently recharge from renewable energy
LAS VEGAS – Demonstrating new technologies and partnerships aimed at “expanding life’s potential through mobility,” Honda’s exhibit at CES 2020 featured global debuts of concepts that integrate connected, autonomous, shared, and electric (CASE) technologies into new mobility products and services. The exhibit also showcased Honda Xcelerator’s Industrial Innovation Pavilion and highlight the company’s continued evolution of Safe Swarm, the V2X connected safety system currently testing on U.S. Route 33 in Ohio.
Honda featured the following technology concepts and prototypes at CES 2020.
Augmented Driving Concept
Honda introduced its Augmented Driving Concept to address the cultural transition to autonomous vehicles. In the autonomous future, Honda believes that customers will be able to enjoy mobility in new ways when freed from the responsibility of driving. At the same time, customers may still want to experience the emotion and thrill of driving.
Honda’s Augmented Driving Concept features a seamless transition from autonomous to semi-autonomous driving operation. To respond quickly to the user’s curiosity, the autonomous driving system is constantly on standby, ready to intervene and control the vehicle when needed. The driving system changes between automatic and manual mode with a switch, and features more than eight modes between fully autonomous and semi-autonomous operation. Various sensors in the vehicle continuously read the user’s intention to smoothly shift between these modes, creating an instinctive driving experience.
With its reinvented steering wheel, Honda’s Augmented Driving Concept offers new types of driving experiences. By patting the steering wheel twice, the vehicle will start. Pull the steering wheel and the vehicle will slow down; push the steering wheel and the vehicle will accelerate. CES attendees can experience a simulated demonstration of the Augmented Driving Concept.
Future Honda Mobility VR Experience
Honda previewed a mobility ecosystem forecast for the year 2035 and beyond with fully autonomous vehicles, shared autonomous mobility, and an aerial mobility infrastructure. In the Future Honda Mobility VR demonstration, CES attendees can experience a journey through the urban future with a V2X system safely navigating the drive, encounter an Autonomous Shared Mobility Pod, and take flight in a personal vertical takeoff & landing (VTOL) vehicle.
Honda Xcelerator Collaborations
Honda Xcelerator, a global open innovation program from Honda Innovations, debuted collaborations at CES 2020 with startups focused on augmenting human capabilities and devices that enhance workplace ergonomics for the manufacturing environment. Honda Xcelerator also showcased soon-to-be commercialized technologies based on successful collaborations with Drivemode, a startup that develops and operates smartphone-based connected services, and SoundHound Inc., the leading innovator in voice-enabled AI and conversational intelligence technologies.
Industrial Innovation Pavilion
Exploring new areas beyond the traditional themes of CES, Honda Xcelerator featured four startup partners that seek to transform the manufacturing environment. In collaboration with startups Monolith AI, noonee, Skelex, and UVeye, Honda Xcelerator’s Industrial Innovation Pavilion offered demos ranging from ergonomic devices designed to reduce risk of repetitive strain injuries on an assembly line to an AI-powered inspection technology that will dramatically change how the auto industry approaches quality-control.
“Smartphone as Brain” with Drivemode
Honda and Drivemode jointly developed “Smartphone as Brain” technology, which provides a safe and convenient way for drivers or motorcycle riders to integrate their smartphones into the driving and riding experience while minimizing distraction. For instance, riders can connect their smartphone and motorcycle by Bluetooth®, enabling them to control their smartphone either using switches on the steering handles or voice recognition. Honda acquired Drivemode in October 2019, and will demonstrate Smartphone as Brain technology at CES.
SAFE SWARM™ and “Smart Intersection”
Honda has been preparing infrastructure for the connected autonomous future and showed the progress of its Honda SAFE SWARM™ and “Smart Intersection” prototype safety system. Using V2X technology, Honda SAFE SWARM™ allows vehicles to communicate with surrounding vehicles and share key information such as location and speed. With this information, along with the sensor suite on the vehicle, the driver or automated vehicle systems can determine the safest course of action to prevent collisions and reduce traffic congestion. Over the past year, Honda has been evaluating SAFE SWARM™ in a real-world environment on the 33 Smart Mobility Corridor near the Honda R&D center in Ohio, and will show its progress in developing merge assist and lane optimization technologies.
Additionally, Honda showed a red light runner detection scenario of its “Smart Intersection” technology, which is currently being tested in a real-world environment in Marysville, Ohio. Traffic collisions at roadway intersections account for roughly 40 percent of all collisions and 20 percent of the nearly 35,000 traffic-related deaths in the U.S. each year. The “Smart Intersection” technology utilizes Honda’s proprietary object recognition software in conjunction with intersection-mounted cameras and V2X communications. This enables cars to virtually see through and around buildings and walls in nearly all weather conditions to help identify and alert drivers to otherwise hidden hazards.
Honda Personal Assistant Technology with SoundHound Inc.
Honda and SoundHound Inc. have developed a voice-enabled AI conversational assistant – Honda Personal Assistant – to support drivers and enable a comfortable mobility experience. SoundHound Inc.’s Houndify voice AI platform includes patented Speech-to-Meaning™ and Deep Meaning Understanding™ technologies to deliver unprecedented speed and accuracy in voice recognition and responses, and an ability to understand context, such as the user's location or previous queries, to support natural interactions. Using the custom wake word “OK Honda” developed by SoundHound Inc., Honda Personal Assistant connects people with their mobility products and realizes a seamless world where various functions are controlled by voice only.
Progress Toward Real-world Applications
Honda showed advancements in the following technology prototypes as the company works toward real-world applications and commercialization.
Honda Energy Management Concept
Honda is creating convenient renewable energy solutions that which were displayed in its Energy Management Concept. The exhibit demonstrates Honda’s vision for when people have 24/7 access to renewable energy that can be used anytime and anywhere with complete confidence.
The company has been developing the Honda Mobile Power Pack, a portable, swappable, rechargeable battery that has an output of 1kWh or more. When multiple Honda Mobile Power Packs are used simultaneously, they can power electric motorcycles, small-sized electric mobility products, and even become a stable supply of electricity in people’s homes.
The Honda Energy Management Concept also featured the U.S. debut of Honda’s EV personal mobility concept named ESMO (Electric Smart Mobility).