CES 2017: Honda to Debut NeuV AI Car Featuring ‘Emotion Engine’


Honda AI car

Las Vegas may be the perfect place for Honda to unveil its new car that uses artificial intelligence to “generat[e] its own emotions” as there’s always lots of excitement and emotions in Sin City.

In any event, Honda just detailed plans to demonstrate an experimental vehicle dubbed NeuV at the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas next month. Unveiling the look of the car and a few more details on its website, Honda promises that the car “will feature interactive and immersive experiences designed to showcase a future technology path toward a redefined mobility experience.”

Honda said earlier that the car will feature an “emotion engine” that stimulates interaction between drivers and vehicles. Working with SoftBank—the developer of emotion-sensing personal robot Pepper—Honda has developed a platform that “will strive to enable mobility products to utilize conversations with the driver, together with other information obtained from various sensors and cameras installed on the mobility product, both to perceive the emotions of the driver and and engage in dialogue with the driver based on the vehicle’s own emotions.”

And as mobility products “‘grow up’ while sharing various experiences with their drivers, the project will strive to enable drivers to experience the feeling that their mobility product has become a good partner and thus form a stronger emotional attachment toward it,” Honda said.

In other words, in a markedly Japanese approach to anthropomorphizing digital creatures, Honda has become the second Japanese auto brand to harness AI and other forms of data-crunching to create seemingly sensate beings that provide the lonely with company in the car. In Toyota’s case, by comparison, the Kirobo Mini tiny robot is what the company calls “a miniature communication partner developed to provide companionship.”