A car that can feel emotion – among other things
The NeuV (pronounced “new-v”) comes equipped with an artificial intelligence “emotion engine” and an automated personal assistant. Like the Geely Lynk (the self-professed smartphone on wheels) the NeuV is marketed at urban millennials, whose cars tend to sit idling in parking lots for 96% of the time. And like the Lynk, the NeuV will be able to “rent” itself to prospective customers, picking them up and dropping them off whenever the car is not in use by the owner.
The NeuV is electric and can sell energy back to the grid whenever it’s not being actively used, effectively monetizing its down time.
“These cars are incredibly exciting,” says Jeff Osborne, Head of Gumtree Automotive. “The desire for ownership, particularly among millennials, has steadily diminished over the last few years. 20% fewer Americans have drivers’ licenses than they did a decade ago. Ridesharing and improved public transport networks have meant that cars ownership is seemingly no longer necessary. Increased environmental awareness and urban congestion has further reduced the desire to own . By introducing features that can generate an income using technology, the motor industry has counterattacked these trends and not only made car ownership more attractive, but also profitable.”
The NeuV’s AI assistant, called HANA (Honda Automated Network Assistant) is programmed to learn from the driver by analyzing the emotions behind the driver’s behavior. The car can check in on the driver’s emotional well-being and play music accordingly. It also comes equipped with an electric skateboard for “last mile” transit.
Honda also launched the “Safe Swarm” concept, which mimics the behavior of schools of fish to ensure a safe driving experience. “We already know that cars will “talk” to one another, if we look at the current antonymous automotive technology, to make the road safer and reduce congestion. This system in particular will employ dedicated short range communication to navigate the road more safely,” says Osborne. “The belief is that we will see the first collision-free society in 2040.”
Unfortunately, we don’t yet know when the NeuV will launch in South Africa – or anywhere for that matter.
“It’s a sad reality that concept cars are often just that – concepts. We don’t know if the car will make it to market, but it is a strong indicator of where the company would like to go in the near future,” says Osborne. “The fact that the Lynk is going to market next year and planning a roll-out of half a million vehicles over the next five years might very well accelerate designs such as these.”