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Honda will kick off an "emotional" car at CES 2017

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【Summary】Honda announced on its corporate website last week that it will present a concept automated EV commuter vehicle at next month’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2017 in Las Vegas. The car is called “NeuV.” It is equipped with artificial intelligence technology named “emotion engine,” which offers consumers a totally new driving experience.

Original Claire    Dec 14, 2016 8:47 AM PT
Honda will kick off an

Machines are machines. They can't carry out a conversation naturally like a human being. And they can't express actual feelings. Being emotional is an exclusive right entitled to humans. But Honda is trying to break that stereotype as it debuts a car that creates both new possibilities for human interaction as well as new value for customers.

Honda announced on its corporate website last week that it will present a concept automated EV commuter vehicle at next month's Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2017 in Las Vegas. The car is called "NeuV." It is equipped with artificial intelligence technology named "emotion engine," which offers customers a totally new experience while driving.

This product is offered in partnership with the Japanese AI company Cocoro Softbank. The company was established in 2014 under the Softbank Group. It focuses on cloud service and robot technology, and was the creator of the "Pepper robot." Earlier this year, Honda and Softbank revealed their cooperation in artificial intelligence development. In essence, they are planning to develop a car that can have conversations with its driver and actually gauge his or her emotions.

The NeuV concept car is said to utilize sensors and cameras "to perceive the emotions of the driver and to engage in dialogue based on the vehicle's own emotions." This is Honda's first attempt to include the new technology inside a vehicle.

"By letting mobility products ‘grow up' while sharing various experiences with their drivers, the project will strive to enable drivers to experience the feeling that their mobility product has become a good partner and thus form a stronger emotional attachment toward it," Honda said in a statement.

The Japanese auto giant did not release further details of the NeuV product, but stressed that its theme in this year's CES will be the "Cooperative Mobility Ecosystem." Not only will it reveal the much anticipated NeuV, but it will also showcase another Cocoro Softbank partnership product - a next-generation motorcycle. Moreover, Honda will announce some initiatives with startup companies and global brands at the show. The extensive cooperation is said by the Japanese automaker to create a "more productive and enjoyable mobility experience."

While the world's automakers are plunging into self-driving technology, Japanese manufacturers are relatively quiet on this hot trend. However, their attention seems to be focused on developing AI technology that's more humane and lovable. 

Honda is not the only automaker to develop something new that's related to robotics. Toyota published a YouTube video this October introducing its own humanoid robot called Kirobo Mini. It's a doll-like astronaut robot that can recognize faces and locations, talk, gesture to humans and even respond to emotions. It will be going on sale next year. Toyota said that the average person spends 4.5 years of one's life in cars. Therefore, how to better drivers' lives while they're inside the vehicle has become an important matter. This seems to be a different angle of Japanese automakers in comparison to the American carmakers' self-driving push.

 

 


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