Honda is testing vehicles that can see and communicate like humans

  • Honda is testing a range of “micromobility” vehicles that will be able to cooperate with humans.
  • The range includes a four-seater electric vehicle and a robot that will help carry people’s luggage.
  • Concept vehicles could help people who don’t own cars get around cities.

Japanese car giant Honda wants to make it easier for people to get around cities and is developing a range of micromobility vehicles to help them do so.

The range of concept vehicles is being tested by the company’s research and development arm, with the aim of bringing some of the technology into commercial use in Japan around 2030, according to a company press release.

The vehicles use what Honda calls cooperative intelligence. The technology combines cameras, voice recognition, AI and standard controls to enable more “human” 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 feature would allow them to quickly recognize walkable areas, “in the same way that people recognize those areas by seeing things with their own eyes,” according to 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 for commuting around cities or for sightseeing and business, according to the press release. Users could call and specify a location using words and gestures, he added.

The second is The WaPOCHI, an electric robot designed to follow users like a pet, according to the press release. It will track users using AI and cameras and is designed to help users walk, 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, such as the elderly or Gen Z youth who don’t own a car, according to Bloomberg.

“In a society where the birth rate is declining, the population is aging and people have adopted new habits after experiencing the COVID-19 pandemic, the need for unrestricted mobility of people and things through micromobility machines is expected to increase,” Honda’s press release said.

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