Although not a carmaker-commissioned prototype, the Honda Skyroom offers an alternative look at the self-driving car of the future

Honda is finally dipping its toes into the honey jar with its first-ever electric car, but if the company’s top-level decision-makers share the same vision with Behance’s Dahye Jeong about what the future holds, then the Japanese wouldn’t ignore the self-driving trend.

Back in 2018, Honda joined forces with General Motors in the endeavor of building an autonomous vehicle. At that time, CNBC reported that the Japanese carmaker is taking a stake in GM’s subsidiary Cruise Holdings, with the full investment rising to $2.8. The car would be one for wide use, with the American carmaker handling the assembly process at one of its plants. There’s not much to be heard on the topic ever since, but this Honda Skyroom concept might hint at what’s in store.

What is this Honda Skyroom concept?

Is This Skyroom Concept the Future of Honda Automobiles?
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The Honda Skyroom concept - although not connected in any way to the Japanese carmaker - is the personal project of Dahye Jeong, a transportation design student based in Seoul, South Korea. Unlike Honda’s current self-driving vehicle that’s heavily focused on the utilitarian side of things - that’s right, I’m looking at the so-called Work Vehicle - Dahye’s proposal is more human-centric if we can put it that way.

The designer clearly states the focus here was placed on the cylinder-shaped interior that wants to shatter the “limitations to emotions we can feel within the interior of the car.”

What’s more, she says she got the inspiration from sitting on a rooftop, where she can feel gloomy, lovely, or deeply immersed into her thoughts, but at the same time, we can’t not see how the cabin has shaped the car’s exterior as well.

Is This Skyroom Concept the Future of Honda Automobiles?
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However, the round shape is there for a reason - that’s to minimize the user’s movement inside the cabin. There’s enough room for three passengers to sit in full comfort inside the Honda Skyroom in a 1+2 configuration - kind of line in the McLaren 1, if you please, but with a whole lot more room to stretch one’s arms and legs. In fact, the cockpit looks very living room-like as it incorporates two pillows for the rear-most passengers, a coffee table of sorts, and no side windows - for more privacy, says the designer. The panoramic sunroof would, in turn, provide the connection with the outside world, visually speaking.

There’s more, though.

The cabin is fully customizable in the sense that it can even be fitted with a large, semi-circular forward-facing couch or even a shell-shaped bed.

Now, imagine that you could travel on a suspended highway with the self-driving car doing all the work while you sleep under the starry sky and get to your destination pretty much as fresh as a cucumber - no waiting at the airport and no delays and no connecting flights.

What about what powers the Skyroom concept?

Is This Skyroom Concept the Future of Honda Automobiles?
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Well, the designer didn’t go that far, but we reckon no one in its right mind would drop a diesel engine inside this sort of car, right? So it goes without saying that an all-electric powertrain would be the single option here. It doesn’t even have to be performance-oriented, so one or two hub electric motors will suffice.

With that out of the picture, we’re guessing the key of this vehicle is its battery pack. The way we see it involves a smaller battery for urban use and a larger one for trips outside the city, on the imaginary suspended highway we were dreaming about earlier. Either way, space shouldn’t be a problem as the car’s floor seems pretty spacious. And since performance and nimbleness are not of the essence here, the extra weight added by a chunkier battery won’t hurt the concept’s ethos too much. In fact, it could make it even more planted and stable on the road.

Is This Skyroom Concept the Future of Honda Automobiles?
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For the sake of the argument, Honda’s freshly released e urban EV packs a 35.5-kWh lithium-ion battery pack that offers a maximum range of 200 kilometers (124 miles) on a single full charge.

This might sound like a decent solution for urban use, but it’s really not enough for a car’s that’s supposed to travel between two cities and perhaps back or on to a third.

Check out the photo gallery and let us know whether it’s similar or entirely different to your vision of a future self-driving car built by Honda. We like what we’re seeing, but we’d love to hear your opinions as well.

Source: Behance

Tudor Rus
Assistant Content Manager - Automotive Expert -
Tudor’s first encounter with cars took place when he was only a child. Back then, his father brought home a Trabant 601 Kombi and a few years later, a Wartburg 353. At that time, he was too young to know how they worked and way too young to drive them, but he could see one thing – each of them had a different ethos and their own unique personality. As time went on, he started seeing that in other cars as well, and his love for the automobile was born.  Read More
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