As every motorbike owner knows, keeping them upright can, at times, be a challenge.
However, Honda has come to the rescue with a self balancing bike that can even ride itself.
The firm says it could make riding far safer, and also showed off a bizarre commuter unicycle using the same technology.
Called Honda Riding Assist, the concept motorcycle that applies Honda’s robotics technology to maintain balance while the machine is at rest.
The firm also released a video showing off the bike following its owner around a building to park.
Rather than relying on gyroscopes, which add a great deal of weight and alter the riding experience as announced by other companies, the Honda Riding Assist motorcycle incorporates technology originally developed for the company’s UNI-CUB personal mobility device.
During the demo at the CES show in Las Vegas, Honda’s self-balancing motorcycle sat stationary next to a Uni-Cub, its front wheel twitching back and forth to keep it upright.
However, the firm has not said when the bike will enter production.
‘Since our founding, Honda has focused on creating technologies that help people,’ said Yoshiyuki Matsumoto, president & CEO of Honda R&D.
‘Our goal is to showcase a future technology path that results in a redefined mobility experience.’
Honda says it envisions a future where vehicles will communicate with each other and infrastructure to mitigate traffic congestion and eliminate traffic fatalities.
‘Vehicles will create new value by autonomously providing services when not in use by their owners,’ it said.
The firm also showed off its UNI-CUB commuter scooter.
The self-balancing personal mobility device that enables the seated rider to control speed, move in any direction and stop, all by simply shifting body weight.
Earlier this year, the company opened the UNI-CUB’s API seeking to facilitate the creation of software that can control the device from a smartphone and other devices, which would provide the potential to expand its value and functionality for people.
It also showed off a concept car called NeuV (pronounced ‘new-v’), which stands for New Electric Urban Vehicle.
‘The NeuV explores the idea of how to create new value for its owner by functioning as an automated ride sharing vehicle, picking up and dropping off customers at local destinations when the owner is not using the car,’ Honda says.
‘The NeuV also can sell energy back to the electric grid during times of high demand when it’s not in use.’
‘We designed NeuV to become more valuable to the owner by optimizing and monetizing the vehicle’s down time,’ said Mike Tsay, principal designer, Honda R&D Americas.
It also boasts a ‘thoughtful and helpful AI assistant’ called HANA (Honda Automated Network Assistant).
This ’emotion engine’ will learn from the driver by detecting the emotions behind the driver’s judgments and then, based on the driver’s past decisions, make new choices and recommendations.
HANA can check on the driver’s emotional well-being, make music recommendations based on mood, and support the owner’s daily driving routine.
It has a full touch panel interface enabling both the driver and passenger to access a simple and convenient user experience.
The vehicle has two seats, a storage area in back, and an electric skateboard for ‘last mile’ transit.
Honsa also believes cars will talk to each other, and showed off its ‘Safe Swarm’ concept, which utilizes bio-mimicry – replicating the behavior of a school of fish – to create a safer, more efficient and enjoyable driving experience.
The Honda Safe Swarm demonstration immerses visitors in a world where vehicles sharing the road communicate with one another using dedicated short range communication (DSRC) to support the driver in negotiating complex driving situations.
‘The autonomous age has dawned, and Honda, like all automakers, is working to refine and advance this technology to achieve our goal for a collision-free society in the 2040 timeframe,’ said Frank Paluch, president, Honda R&D Americas.
‘Using vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure communications and drawing upon big data and artificial intelligence, Honda will work with others to create an environment in which road conditions are predicted and managed, and collisions avoided.’