Honda’s NeuV CES Concept Wants to Help Its Owners Earn Money
Why not take advantage of your autonomous car’s downtime by renting it out as a taxi?
Privately-owned vehicles sit idle 96 percent of the time, according to Honda. So to help people maximize their investment, the automaker is introducing the NeuV—an autonomous vehicle concept specifically designed for car-sharing.
One benefit of connected and autonomous cars is that cars will be eventually able act as driverless taxis that could create a revenue stream for the vehicle's owner, said Yoshiyuki Matsumoto, president & CEO of Honda research and development. This puts power back into the hands of the car owner, enabling them to become not just an Uber driver, but a ride-sharing company like Uber itself. In addition, when the car isn't being used to shuttle strangers around, it can even be used to make money off the electric company, selling power back to utility providers when demand is high.
"We designed NeuV to become more valuable to the owner by optimizing and monetizing the vehicle's down time," Mike Tsay, principal designer of Honda R&D Americas, said.
Beyond car sharing, NeuV is also capable of learning from its drivers—and to some degree, even understanding them. Matsumoto said that the concept car will be able to detect the occupant's emotions and make recommendations and decisions based on previous choices.
Making autonomous car sharing a reality is going to take cooperation, Matsumoto continued; Honda's partnership with Waymo is one of the strategic partnerships that the company is securing, and the automaker is actively looking for others.
Cooperation is a common theme for the company at CES, and even its NeuV needs to work with other vehicles on the road. Honda demonstrated its "Safe Swarm" concept that leverages V2V communication to facilitate smooth, collision-free traffic flow.