Honda’s futuristic plans include flying taxis, rockets, and robots that can roam on the moon
- Honda has laid out a series of plans and ambitions for futuristic projects.
- It’s planning to make reusable rockets, avatar robots, remote-controlled robots and flying taxis.
- These experiments are said to be an expansion of the company’s core business.
AdvertisementHonda has big plans for its futuristic business which includes rockets, robots, renewable energy systems on the moon and its first electric vehicle takeoff and landing aircraft (eVTOL) which could work as flying taxis. The Japanese automobile company said at an event that it will spend $45 billion on R&D in this space over the next six years, and these new experiments will be an expansion of its existing business.
Gear up for a long line of announcements.
Starting with the eVTOL aircraft, Honda expects to use this as part of an urban taxi service (imagine flying taxis). Unlike other companies making all-electric eVOTL aircrafts, Honda plans to equip its aircraft with a gas turbine hybrid power unit. The reason behind this is because all-electric eVOTLs can fly only short distances due to the battery capacity per mass, according to a report by TechCrunch. If the batteries do advance in future then Honda could opt for all-electric eVOTLs.
Honda presented a scenario where someone in Cape Cod, Massachusetts uses an app to book an eVOTL to go to their office in New York City. This would be a two-hour commute by air and on reaching the venue, an autonomous shuttle would be there to drop that person to their office. Honda plans on making a decision for a commercial air taxi service before 2025 and eventually launching it by 2030.
Honda Asimo robot
Honda also showcased a concept avatar robot that can be controlled remotely through a VR headset and a tactile glove for hand movements. These avatar 'Asimo' robots will basically perform human tasks without the person being physically present. Honda expects these robots to be used for remote surgeries which could help benefit developing countries. It also expects Asimo robots to go to places that are difficult for humans to reach. We can expect Asimo robots to start functioning by the 2030s with their testing completed by early 2024, according to Honda’s plans.
Renewable energy on the moon
Honda in partnership with the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) plans to build “the circulative renewable energy system on the lunar surface by leveraging fuel cell technologies and high differential pressure water electrolysis technologies Honda has amassed to date.” This renewable energy system is aimed at providing resources to humans and rovers on the moon and hopefully, extend the time people can live there.
AdvertisementAnother crazy idea is the possibility of remote-controlled robots on the lunar surface. Using the same functionality as the avatar robots, these robots would be able to roam the surface of the moon which could help minimise the risk for astronauts exploring space.
Honda also has plans for rockets but nothing as big as SpaceX. Its initial plan is to develop small rockets that will help support the launch of low-earth orbit satellites. The company has hopes though of these rockets getting big eventually for space travel.
That’s quite a lot from the automaker and very futuristic as well. The results of these ambitions we’re hoping to see in a few years. The company also assured that these are areas that it will focus on but as an extension of its core business, that is cars.
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