Among the vehicular reveals is Honda’s Augmented Driving Concept. The company hasn’t revealed many details or photos, but what it has shown is almost as adorable as Baby Yoda. It also shows off a new control scheme centered entirely on the steering wheel.
The car is a two-door convertible with a cut-down speedster-style windshield. It looks a little like an extra rounded Honda E with the top cut off. The front fascia is especially cute with its plastic bubble-encased round headlights and badging. The interior is ultra-minimal with two rows of bench seats and no instrumentation or infotainment. The only point of interaction is the steering wheel.
The steering wheel does do some traditional things, specifically turning the car left and right. But Honda has also moved throttle and braking to the wheel, too. You push forward on the wheel to accelerate and pull it back to slow down. You even start the car with the wheel by tapping the top of it twice.
Forward-looking: It’s not just tech companies like Amazon, Google, and Apple that have their own AI-powered virtual assistants. Some carmakers are working on similar technology. Indeed, Honda says it plans to show the world an early glimpse of its own in-car AI helper at CES 2020 next year.
The helper will be appropriately known as the “Honda Personal Assistant,” and the carmaker is making some pretty bold claims about its future capabilities. For starters, Honda says the Personal Assistant will feature “unprecedented” speed and accuracy for voice recognition. Given how much more further along other virtual assistants, such as Siri or Alexa are, this is a bit tough to believe without seeing it in action.
Regardless, Honda says its Assistant will accomplish this lofty task through its implementation of the patented Speech-to-meaning and Deep Meaning Understanding technologies, whatever those are.
Smartphone as Brain
Alongside the AI, the company plans to reveal other upcoming products and concepts. One of the more interesting projects is called Smartphone as Brain. The company claims the platform will make it safer for you to use your phone while driving a car or riding a motorcycle. Using a Bluetooth connection, it allows you to control some aspects of your phone with either your voice or a vehicle’s physical controls.
Future Honda Mobility VR Experience
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.
SAFE SWARM and “Smart Intersection”
Honda has been preparing the infrastructure for the connected autonomous future and will show 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.