Honda Looks to Influence the Future with Clean Car Tech, 3D Printing


Honda is still touting the safety and other technological wonders of its current vehicles that were on display in its Super Bowl spot while also propeling fans into its near and distant future.

No sooner had Honda finished showing its surprise Super Bowl advertisement featuring actors Bruce Willis and Fred Armisen delivering a humanized message about the unparalleled safety levels of its vehicles, Honda also was reminding the American public via press release that it has more top safety-rated vehicles made in the US than any other automaker; that’s six US-built models that have gotten “Top ‘Safety Pick+” ratings from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.[more]

Honda also this week launched the latest version of the first mainstream natural gas-powered sedan in the US, the 2014 Honda Civic Natural Gas. It’s going to be available in 37 states beginning Feb. 15 offering a combined EPA mileage rating of 31 mpg. While the model first came out in 2012, and the new version has tech, safety and interior upgrades.

But more important, soon the natural gas-powered Civic may be joined by similarly powered vehicles offered by other automakers, as they consider how to take advantage of the efficiency and clean burn of a fuel that is in increasing abundance from American supplies. General Motors, for instance, may come out with one soon.

Honda also is trying to excite and inspire fans (and future engineers) with 3D data for the exterior designs of some of its concept models from the last 10 years, allowing fans to download and alter the specs and print miniature versions at home with household 3D printers. The designs include the next-generation hybrid NSX Concept that was unveiled last year.