Honda Returns to CES with an Evolved "Dream Drive" and It Could Change the Way We Look At In-Car Infotainment Forever
It’s been two years since Honda unveiled the innovative "Dream Drive" in-car entertainment system at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. Now, the Japanese manufacturer returns to the CES with a much-improved version of the "Dream Drive" system that incorporates a compelling array of features for both the driver and his passengers like the ability to make in-car purchases, hotel reservations, play games, or watch movies.
The first prototype of the "Dream Drive" in-car infotainment system that Honda brought to CES in 2017 was merely a preview of what the automaker has on its stand this time around. Back then, we were awed by the in-car VR experience offered through a partnership with DreamWorks. However, Honda made it clear that this wasn’t the system’s only use and that it would give those traveling in Hondas of tomorrow an all-in-all better in-cabin experience through entertainment, education, music and the ability to do almost anything without leaving the comfortable seats of the car.
The True Inner Working’s of Honda’s Awesome VTEC System: Video
In the engineering world, Honda is most famous for its creation of VTEC, a system that allows engines to excel at delivering good fuel economy, as well as high-performance all without forced induction. VTEC is really clever, but as the widespread adoption of turbocharging has changed the industry, it is not as important as it used to be - even Honda itself is only using it on the exhaust camshaft of its turbocharged cars these days.
General Motors and Honda Collaborate On Autonomous Technology
A lot of partnerships are arising these days. It’s not just automakers and tech companies, but also automakers and automakers. This time, it’s General Motors and Honda teaming up to take on the world with Autonomous Technology. General Motors and Cruise Automation announced collaboration with Japanese giant, Honda that will seek “large-scale deployment” of technology for autonomous vehicles.
Best Used 2016 SUV for Fuel Economy
The market trend is quickly shifting from sedans to crossovers and SUVs. However, SUVs have two major cons when compared to their segment counterparts - high retail price and poor fuel economy. Even though they are a practical choice thanks to additional cabin and cargo space, it’s a little difficult for everyone to afford an SUV. So why not go for a used SUV instead? You don’t take the depreciation hit that first owner does, and since SUVs are built to last a lifetime, you can get an almost-new SUV at half the original price.
Now that we’ve planted this seed in your head, let’s have a look at the best used SUVs from 2016 with high fuel efficiency.
Honda Puts Safety First - Will Offer Honda Sensing Safety as Standard Equipment from 2022
Honda’s Sensing safety system is fitted on one million vehicles in the U.S. today, but that number is going to pale in comparison to Honda’s plans for the system moving forward. According to the Japanese automaker, Honda Sensing will come standard on all 2022 model year vehicles, a huge increase from the current lot of models that are already carrying the safety system.
Honda Brings Together Consortium of Tech Startups To Focus on Future Mobility
In case it isn’t obvious by now, the Consumer Electronics Show attracted just about every automaker that has a vested interest in future mobility. Honda was in attendance at the event, where it announced plans through Honda Xcelerator to bring together a consortium of tech startups with the goal of developing new technologies that are geared towards future mobility. Included in this list of startups are BRAIQ, DeepMap, DynaOptics, EXO Technologies, Tactual Labs, and WayRay.
Honda’s New Powerpack is Revolutionary in Terms of Simple Mobility
In the continuing quest to develop alternative sources of power, Honda took to the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show to unveil the Mobile Power Pack, a portable, swappable, and rechargeable battery that users can use to power digital devices, home appliances, emergencies, and electric mobility vehicles like motorcycles and scooters. The Mobile Power Pack is essentially an oversized powerbank that carries an output of at least 1kWh, enough juice to serve a myriad of purposes.
Meet Honda’s Newest Cute Robots the 3E Empathy, Empower, and Experience
Honda has pulled the covers off of four robot concepts at the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show. Collective called the 3E Robotics Concepts, the small prototypes are more than just novelty items that Honda cooked up for our collective pleasures; they were created to give us a taste of what the future could look like with these robots by our sides to improve our daily lives in different ways. Three of these concepts are making their world debuts at CES. One of them, 3E-C18, made its debut at the 2017 Tokyo Motor Show last October.
HondaLens Augmented Reality - The Future of the Dealership Experience
Honda has high hopes for the all-new 2018 Accord, so it’s taking the car’s dealership experience to a whole new level with a new feature called HondaLens. The augmented reality (AR) feature puts prospective customers in a unique position of seeing the Accord and its features in a whole new light, literally and figuratively. The proprietary system made its debut at the 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show in grand fashion. Those in attendance were given an opportunity to peak into the history of one of Honda’s best-selling models before diving deep into the array of features that the tenth-generation Accord has at its disposal.
Honda Plans for 15-Minute EV Charging Times by 2020
Compared to a lot of automakers, Honda has remained largely mute about its EV goals for the future. Be that as it may, the brand recently released two EV concepts and is now aiming for 15-minute charging by 2022, effectively tackling the largest hurdle in the mission of EVs moving into the mainstream category. The goal is to provide at least 240 km on a single, 15-minute charge, or at least 80-percent capacity – the industry standard at this point. The company will get an assist in this mission, however, as most of Europe and Japan should have a full network of 350 kW charging stations by 2020, and infrastructure that is a necessity for this type of fast charging to even be feasible let alone become a reality. To put that timeline into perspective, Honda is expecting to have production EVs on the road by 2019 and this high-speed charging in play just three years later. But, there’s a bit more to it – keep reading to learn more.
Honda has the Right Idea When it Comes to Self-Driving Cars
Autonomous cars – those two little words have sent shivers down the spines of enthusiasts the world over, evoking visions of steering-wheel-free, de-pedaled transportation bubbles with the driving dynamics of a tablet on wheels. But fear not, my motor-minded brethren, there’s always hope. The latest reassurance comes from Honda, the same company that gave us the NSX and the Type R badge. Mitsuru Kariya, Honda’s head engineer for the Civic, recently spoke on the issue with Car Buzz at the 2016 Paris Motor Show, and by the sound of it, everything is gonna be just fine.
“We surely believe in autonomous driving. It will come, definitely. But we believe, and we hope, that there will always remain a certain partition of driving by yourself,” he told the publication.
Kariya-san didn’t elaborate on what he meant by “partition,” but its clear that human operation is still a priority for the Japanese automaker. The most recent evidence of this is the release of the new Civic Type R prototype, a five-door hatchback aimed squarely at folks who enjoy taking control of the wheel. At the same time, Honda is actively developing self-driving technology that could potentially allow it to produce fully autonomous cars sometime in the future.
Really, this is all about catering to both camps – those who prefer the ease and convenience of a robo-mobile, and those who prefer the engagement and fun of a manual driver. But what other factors are involved here?
Continue reading for the full story.
Honda Developing Augmented Reality Safety Systems for In-Car Use
While all-electric power and autonomous driving systems grab most of the headlines these days, there’s another piece of tech out there that’s worthy of your consideration – augmented reality (AR). It’s the same stuff used in the video game sensation Pokemon Go, but rather than imprisoning adorable monsters, some folks are interested in using it for four-wheeled applications. The latest automotive AR news comes from Honda, which just filed two patents that outline how the technology can be used to enhance safety behind the wheel. While Honda has yet to release an official statement on the technology, the patents summarize systems that allow drivers to avoid pedestrians and rear-end collisions.
Essentially, the patents propose a system that pulls images and information from various onboard sensors, then relays that info to the driver through a heads-up display that projects it onto the windshield, revealing what would normally be obstructed or out of sight.
One of the patents shows a system that detects pedestrians, then shows the driver an AR display of an intersection dotted by pedestrians, including those in the driver’s blind spot.
A second patent incorporates vehicle-to-vehicle communication whereby the distance between two cars is projected into the driver’s field of vision. Should a car ahead of the group brake heavily or identify an obstruction, it will relay that information to the cars behind it, with the drivers notified by an AR display.
Continue reading for the full story.
Honda Filed Patent For 11-Speed, Triple-Clutch Transmission
While two decades ago seven-speed transmissions for passenger cars were unheard of, they are quite common today. Actually, automatic transmissions have been receiving additional cogs on a regular basis, with several vehicles using eight- and nine-speed automatics. More recently, Ford and GM have announced plans to introduce a jointly-developed 10-cog unit, but a patent that Honda filed with the Japanese Patent Office suggests that in the future we might use transmissions with even more gears.
According to AutoGuide, the Japanese manufacturer filed a patent for a new 11-speed gearbox that will use three clutches (instead of just two). The patent describes a transmission that shifts quicker and delivers better fuel economy. The third clutch is also supposed to reduce the drop in torque that occurs during up shifts on a regular dual-clutch gearbox, but there’s no information as to how the unit actually works.
Also, there’s no mention of what type of vehicle this transmission would eventually be offered in, but it sounds like it could find a home in small, fuel economy-oriented cars. It could also be used on the company’s future sports cars, as well as in larger vehicles in need of better fuel economy. On the other hand, it might not make it on the market at all, as patents don’t always spawn mass-produced parts.
The patent was published on May 27, 2016, and is no longer available on the Japanese patent office’s website. Stick around for updates, we’ll be back as soon as we get fresh info.
Continue reading for the full story.
Honda And SoftBank Team Up To Make Cars That Can Feel Emotion
Japanese telecoms and Internet giant SoftBank has announced that it will team up with Honda to create cars that can communicate with their human pilots on an emotional level. The proposed touchy-feely machines would utilize advanced artificial intelligence capable of reading a human’s emotional state and computing context-based awareness, effectively turning an everyday conveyance into a four-wheeled digital buddy.
According to a recent report in Fortune, SoftBank sees myriad applications for the technology, including both practical uses (offering help with parking) and psychological benefits (keeping the driver company on a long trip).
The proposal comes on the heels of SoftBank’s $32 billion acquisition of ARM Holdings, a U.K.-based computer chip design company that provides hardware for a slew of smart devices, including phones, tablets, and TVs, as well as automotive applications (ABS sensors, etc.).
SoftBank has already made significant strides in the areas of robotics and AI technology. The company’s most famous advance is Pepper, a humanoid robot introduced in 2014 that uses a slew of sensors, cameras, and microphones to “perceive” human emotion and provide “genuine day-to-day [companionship].”
Of course, Honda brings more to the table than just its expertise in building cars. The automaker also has a robot of its own – ASIMO (Advanced Step in Innovative Mobility), which is capable of recognizing movement, expressions, posture, and gestures, as well as moving in a bipedal, human-like manner.
Masayoshi Son, the billionaire CEO of SoftBank, had this to say: “Imagine if robots, with their super intelligence, devoted themselves to humans. And imagine that cars themselves became supercomputers or robots one day. Honda will be the first to adopt this technology.”
Continue reading for the full story.
Honda Patents Engine With Different-Sized Cylinders
“The internal combustion engine is on its last legs!” We hear it all the time, usually from some source with vested interest in an all-electric alternative. And while the finite nature of petroleum is undeniable, the technology behind its utilization for transportation continues to improve, considerably extending the life of the ICE by making it more powerful and more economical – at the same time. Honda has been doing it for ages now, with previous innovations including its VTEC variable valve timing system. Now, the H-badge is at it again, this time with an engine sporting different-sized cylinders.
That’s the news coming from Autoguide, which reports Honda has filed a patent outlining the technology for it’s next-gen engine lineup, including inline two-cylinders, inline three-cylinders, inline four-cylinders, and V-6 powerplants.
Essentially, the technology uses different strokes for each cylinder. When combined with cylinder deactivation technology, it allows for a multitude of displacement combinations, therefore varying total engine displacement to best suit a given situation. For example, if Honda built a four-cylinder engine and each cylinder had a different displacement, there would be 15 different possible configurations, and therefore, 15 different options for displacement.
So far, there’s no word as to whether or not Honda will actually incorporate the tech on a production car, but here’s to hoping we’ll see it soon.
Continue reading for the full story.
When Honda introduced ASIMO back in 2000 as a humanoid robot, it marked a landmark achievement in technological robotics. Recently, the Japanese automaker launched their follow-up with their first offering to the fast-growing European robotic lawn mower market with the introduction of Honda Miimo, the company’s first commercial robotic product for domestic use.
For all intents and purposes, Honda Miimo is a lawn mower, except that its more than just that. As a robotic lawn mower, Miimo operates what Honda is calling a ’continuous cutting’ system, typically mowing just 2-3mm of grass at a time, several times each week.
Whereas a traditional lawn mower needs to collect cuttings, Miimo creates clippings that are so small that they are dispersed into the lawn root system, which, in turn, breaks down quickly to act as a natural fertilizer, improving the health and quality of the grass that few lawn mowers in its market can replicate. Miimo also delivers excellent environmental benefits, including the fact that it doesn’t produce CO2 and is quieter than most gas models.
Suffice to say, Miimo takes the way robotic lawn mowers do their business in an entirely different light. Once installed, it needs minimal human interaction when it’s doing its job, which means that all of us can enjoy the rest of our day without having to worry about cutting our lawns.
For a company that has been working in the development of robotics since 1986, Honda’s follow up to ASIMO represents the first step towards giving its customers with robotic solutions to their everyday chores, something that would ring music to the ears of a lot of people.
To say that Honda has fallen behind the times in terms of automotive creativity is about as obvious as saying Fiat and Mini are overusing their respective flagship models. While nearly every other automaker is creating numerous ways to safely use your smartphone in the car and also using it to connect to cool things like Pandora radio, Facebook, and whatever other online stuff you love, Honda has been delivering the stats quo for years, sans adding light smartphone connectivity in the 2012 CR-V.
Finally, Honda has decided to get with the times and is introducing HondaLink, which is essentially a Ford Sync copycat. Then again, aren’t all of the modern connectivity systems just copying Ford’s innovative idea?
This new HondaLink system will debut in the 2013 Honda Accord and allows its user to do things like connect to Aha radio, tether and control a smartphone, listen to news, text message via speech, and even hear twitter and Facebook feeds over their audio system.
In reality, this system is actually using technology that Ford has been for the past half century, but the fact that Honda finally unburied its head and realized that it is sub-par is a miracle in itself. Maybe this new system can help Honda recoup some of the sales it has been losing to more innovative companies, like Hyundai and Kia, and earn some of its buyers back.
To help us better understand the system, Honda released a quick video describing its features, which you can see above. Click past the jump to check out Honda’s full presser on HondaLink.
We do our best to keep you in the loop when it comes to new and cool developments in the automotive world. One of the hottest topics going right now in the U.S. is automated driving. Though it is still several decades away from being a national reality, although some states are legalizing autonomous cars, we are still seeing some progress. The leader in this technology to date in the U.S. is the Google Prius, but other automakers - such as Cadillac and Ford - sniffing around the automated car sector.
In Japan, however, they are taking the bull by the horns and setting up an outline for national implementation of an autonomous driving system. According to a report from Tech-On, the Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport, and Tourism (MLIT) is starting to piece together how to make automated driving a reality in as little as eight years.
Starting immediately, the MLIT will start piecing together the problems related to automated driving and neatly package it in an interim report that is due for release in March of 2013. Some of the issues at hand have to include: driver attentiveness, driver override ability, handling of accidents, and infrastructure development.
The MLIT has already employed the help of Toyota, Nissan, Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd. (A.K.A. Subaru), Honda, and Mazda in this project. Heading up the entire team is Yasuo Asakura, a professor at the Tokyo Institute of Technology.
For now, this is all just talk and we will see if anything ever comes of it. If this is actually a serious deal, it could drastically accelerate the timeframe that we in the industry have set for automated cars. We will keep a close eye on this situation and update you if any new details come up. Until then, enjoy your steering wheel, while you still can.
In the ever-evolving world of automobiles, technological innovations are as important – maybe even more – as putting together a powerful engine. There’s always that thin line between being an innovator and being a follower and if you ask all car manufacturers all over the world, all of them would prefer being the former than the latter. For the past couple of months, Honda, together with scientists from Purdue University, may have discovered the next breakthrough in vehicular development after discovering that microscopic carbon nanotubes just might become a quicker and more efficient way of distributing electricity in cars. In addition to that, the newly-discovered nanotubes are also being touted as a better – lighter yet stronger - material than carbon fiber.
The discovery of carbon nanotubes has the capacity to revolutionize the way cars are going to be produced in the future, especially when it comes to the production of batteries, cables, fuel cells, and solar cells. But what’s more important than all of that is the fact that this new breakthrough can also become beneficial on other industries like robotics, and supercapacitors. According to Dr. Hideaki Tsuru, the project director of the Honda Research Institute USA, "Our goal is not only the creation of new and better technologies and products, but to fulfill Honda’s commitment to environment sustainability.”
Like we said, sometimes there are scientific discoveries that go beyond the realm of the industry it is in and this is one of those times. Whether or not the discovery of carbon nanotubes results in more efficient cars remains to be seen, but it does open a world of other possibilities not just in the auto industry, but in others as well.
Press release after the jump.
Evidently, Honda is getting closer to releasing its FCX Concept fuel cell vehicle. Recently, the sporty next-gen hybrid made its European driving debut at the Gotland Ring in Sweden. Honda says the FCX Concept boasts an energy efficiency of around 60 percent, which is approximately three times that of a petrol-engine vehicle, double that of a hybrid vehicle and 10 percent better than the current FCX.
Not only does this product align with the Japanese automaker’s green environmental (...)
The SH-AWD (Super-Handling All-Wheel-Drive) system is the first and only all-wheel-drive platform that distributes the optimum amount of torque not only between the front and rear wheels but also between the left and right rear wheels. The result is precise cornering performance that provides incredibly neutral steering and outstanding vehicle stability.