Honda is helping GM on its mission to lead the quest towards a self-driving future. From WIRED: “In a deal announced today, the Japanese automaker will help San Francisco-based Cruise and its Detroit owner develop and mass produce a new sort vehicle for a world in which human drivers are no longer needed. Honda is opening its checkbook too, pledging to spend $2 billion on the project over 12 years, and immediately putting a $750 million equity investment into Cruise.
…For Honda, the partnership offers entree into a self-driving space where it has thus far spent little time and effort. For Cruise and GM, the newcomer adds engineering know-how as it moves to develop the self-driving car that will replace its current model, a modified Chevy Bolt EV.” Much of Honda’s engineering know-how will be of value for the interior design of the vehicles; once the driverless tech is ready, the ridership experience will hinge on the interior design of the vehicle, much like airplanes today.
WHY IT’S HOT:
In addition to being a somewhat a surprising global partnership, the joint venture between Honda and GM shows that to pioneer the future of driverless vehicles, you can’t go it alone. Strategic partnerships across financing, engineering, and manufacturing will become the norm in this race to the future, particularly due to the fact that no one knows how/when driverless will make money. This deal helps de-risk GM’s path to scale its operations into driverless with a partner that will help it execute long-term.
Car manufacturer Honda decided to address the shortage of dealerships in France by taking a slightly different approach to selling vehicles, relying on the experience and passion of its fans to present and test their 2017 range of SUVs. For the ‘Honda Next Door’ campaign by Sid Lee Paris, loyal Honda owners had their garages transformed into pop-up dealerships.
Honda chose to give its fans this unique opportunity because it believes they are the company’s best ambassadors. Those who wanted to check out the CR-V and HR-V could sign up online for a test drive and go to one of the eight pop-up dealerships in France.
Why It’s Hot:
It’s so frequent that brands try to tap into fans digitally, but turning it into something else entirely is note worthy. It’s also a creative solve to a logistics problem!
At this year’s Tokyo Motor Show, Honda debuted what they call “’a unique form of electric mobility” that was “born to make each person’s ideas and dreams come true.” Its “use is limited only by the imagination.’
Or in other words, it’s a self-driving cooler with LED eyes.”
But Honda has big dreams for this little friend, imagining uses from food vendors to family beach holidays. Honda imagines people using it to open cafes or curry shops wherever they may roam. RoboCas “can follow people in its unique, cute way, bringing happiness and joy to everyone,” the company says. There’s also a Windows tablet stuck on the back, if that helps.
Could RoboCas change the way mobile food vendors set up shop?
Learn more at the Verge
Honda Performance Development has several Formula super-cars in this IndyCar race season, and the field is bearing down on the Indy 500 on May 24, the most iconic race in the series. Now you can take one of Honda’s open-wheel racers for a drive around your neighborhood, at 200 mph. Honda’s interactive experience at FastestSeat.com lets you
enter your address, then Google Maps forms a custom racetrack, and gives the user a virtual street-view drive from the driver’s seat in the Indy car. It’s part of Honda’s yearly program to celebrate the iconic open-wheel super-car race.
Why it’s Hot
This is Honda’s fourth year with its “Fastest Seat in Sports” campaign, including a sweepstakes, new advertising and the interactive experience, the IndyCar Speed Simulator, at FastestSeat.com. After people play the simulator game, they are prompted to enter the sweepstakes. Participants can win a chance to ride in the IndyCar 2-seater with Mario Andretti at the wheel and also trips to next year’s Indy 500 or one of 12 races this season. Everyone loves the thrill of fast cars and being in the driver’s seat. Honda is hoping to reach the auto racing enthusiast who also happens to be in market for a car.