Honda places high-stakes bet on Software, Robotics with new R&D unit

Honda R&D Co, the R&D subsidiary of Honda Motor Co, today announced plans to set up ‘R&D Center X’, a new research and development operation within the company, in April 2017

In early January, Honda unveiled its Cooperative Mobility Ecosystem concept at CES 2017 in Las Vegas, connecting the power of artificial intelligence, robotics and big data to transform the mobility experience of the future and improve customers’ quality of life.




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It also displayed the NeuV (pronounced ‘new-v’), which stands for New Electric Urban Vehicle, is a concept vehicle whose genesis is based on the fact that privately-owned vehicles sit idle 96 percent of the time.

The new initiative will assume responsibility for ‘new value’ areas that include robotics technology, mobility system and energy management as also in areas related to existing fields of technologies such as automated driving and connectivity technologies.

In line with its strategy to evolve mobility systems, the Japanese automaker now wants to employ digital technologies such as artificial intelligence and big data. Initially, R&D Centre X will focus on research of autonomously operated machines and systems, such as robotics technologies and mobility systems, which will be collectively called robotics.

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The concept of robotics includes energy management, which is necessary to power robots and mobility systems. Moreover, as a fundamental technology of robotics, R&D Center X will conduct research into technologies that lead to “artificial intelligence that works cooperatively with people.”

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Honda says this understanding and relating to people’s emotions, provide support for people and grow together with people, and expand the potential of people who will continue to play the lead role.

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Moreover, to advance R&D by gaining a wider perspective, R&D Centre X has appointed two advisors: Dr. Edward A. Feigenbaum, Professor Emeritus of Computer Science at Stanford University, known as the foremost researcher in the field of artificial intelligence, and Kazuhiko Toyama, Managing Partner of Industrial Growth Platform, Inc. (IGPI), who has a lengthy and proven track record in the areas of corporate renewal and new business creation.

Source:  Automotive News & Autonews

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