Honda to test tablet-synced electric mini-car

The Japanese car company said its new "micro commuter prototype" will use a tablet to show dashboard readings, navigation

Honda will begin tests next year of a small electric vehicle that uses a driver's tablet for displaying dashboard readings, audio, navigation and images from its rearview camera, it said Tuesday.

The company's new "Micro Commuter Prototype" will also be able to charge its owner's tablet using solar panels built in to its roof. The prototype is an electric vehicle that seats a single driver and can reach speeds of 80 kilometers per hour, with a range of about 60 kilometers. It is 2.5 meters long, 1.25 meters wide and about 1.4 meters tall.

The car is similar in concept to Toyota's "Smart INSECT" concept shown at the Ceatec electronics show in October. That vehicle works with smartphones, providing a wireless charging pad and using their wireless connection to access Toyota's cloud services for cars.

Honda's concept has a dedicated slot on the dashboard for a tablet. The company has not said which tablets it will support when the car begins testing next year.

Honda said tests of the car, which also has a tiny back seat that can fit small children, "will verify the potential of the vehicle in various uses including supporting everyday short-distance transportation for families with small children and for senior citizens, home delivery services, commuting and car sharing."

The vehicle's motor, battery and mechanics will fit under the floor, allowing Honda to quickly develop different shells for the various types of customers it targets.

Honda's prototype can also be used with its home energy system, which can charge its electric vehicles efficiently but also allows them to function as batteries for home use when they are plugged into a home power grid.

Honda said its micro-commuter will be built to fit under standards being developed by the Japanese government for a new category of small vehicles. The company says the new car will also meet the requirements for Europe's "L7" category for quadricycles, which stipulate that a vehicle's weight does not exceed 400kg (excluding batteries for electric cars) and has a maximum engine output of 15kW.

Tags Automotiveconsumer electronicsHondaindustry verticalsHandhelds / PDAs

Comments

Comments are now closed

 

Latest News

09:18AM
Victorian government funds development of digital Court Triage Service
08:54AM
Lenovo acquisition of Motorola finalised
07:33AM
Autodesk commits $100 million for investment in 3D printing companies
07:11AM
Apple surrenders top tablet satisfaction spot to Amazon
More News
05 Nov
LIVE Webcast: Lessons Learned from the Biggest Security Breaches
05 Nov
vForum 2014
10 Nov
Ascom Myco Launch Event
11 Nov
DCIM Certified Solutions Professional
View all events