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.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags consumer electronicsAutomotiveHondaHandhelds / PDAsindustry verticals

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jay Alabaster

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?