The range of concept vehicles is being tested by the firm’s research and development arm, with the aim of bringing some of the technology to commercial use in Japan around 2030, per a company press release.
The vehicles use what Honda refers to as cooperative intelligence. The technology combines cameras, voice recognition, AI, and standard controls to enable greater more “human-like” cooperation between people and the vehicle, the company said.
The machines would have the ability to generate a 3D map of their surroundings in real time, Honda said.
The function would allow them to quickly recognize passable areas, “in the same way that people recognize such areas by seeing things with their own eyes,” per the press release.
The company has released information on two of the concepts so far. The first is the CiKoMa, a four-seater electric vehicle designed to be used to travel around cities or for sightseeing and business, per the press release. Users would be able to hail and specify a location using words and gestures, it added.
The second is The WaPOCHI, an electric robot designed to follow users around like a pet, per the press release. It’ll track users using AI and cameras and is designed to support users in walking, by performing tasks like carrying their bags or other items.
The concepts are aimed at people who don’t want to drive, but still want to travel around, like the elderly, or younger Gen Z people who don’t own cars, per Bloomberg.
“In a society where the birthrate is declining, the population is aging and people have adopted new habits after experiencing the COVID-19 pandemic, an increase has been forecast for the need for unrestricted mobility of people and things using micro-mobility machines,” the Honda press release said.
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