What does the future hold? Today, circumstances around the world allow for little sense of security, and the future is unclear. Moreover, humankind must overcome a mountain of problems related to the economy, the environment and energy. In this difficult environment, as a corporate citizen of the world, Honda is working hard to take on tough environmental issues while considering how to offer more and more people appealing, enjoyable mobility choices.
Honda produces automobiles, motorcycles and power products such as generators and tillers unlike those of any other company. Honda has even created a humanoid robot, ASIMO. Leveraging its unique qualities, Honda is presenting the Hello! project at Tokyo Motor Show 2009.
The leader of this project, Daisuke Sawai, has spent many years in automobile development and has also been influenced by the design projects of other Honda departments, such as the Pianta mini tiller , which is powered by ordinary household butane gas canisters, and walking assist devices. Sawai wondered if removing the separation between designers in various product categories could help them come up with new breakthroughs. In the past, motorcycles, automobiles and generators were all designed in the same studio, which made it easier for the designers to share their knowledge and expertise. Could replicating this environment help designers to take a new approach to the mobility of the future? Sawai began by creating a modest initiative in which like-minded Honda designers shared their ideas; this initiative led to the bigger project of envisioning a more appealing future through an all-Honda effort
As Honda’s design specialists began to exchange ideas, they found their differing perspectives to be mutually stimulating, and they developed a strong connection based on their newfound understanding of the affinity of all Honda designers for mobility products. In participating in this initiative, they rethought human mobility literally from the ground up and saw how it all begins with walking; they reconnected with the concepts that lay behind the classic Honda products of the past, such as the Super Cub and the N360; and they recognized that the origin of the Honda approach to making things lies in the desire to contribute to people’s lives with things that have never before existed. Rediscovered by these designers, this origin of all Honda design would become the foundation of a Honda approach to design for the future.
Thanks to this initiative, the products Honda is presenting at the Tokyo Motor Show can be truly useful in people’s lives and add to life’s enjoyment. They are products exciting both for the audience and for the Honda associates who helped create them. One Honda vision for the near future of mobility is the Hello! concept. It’s based on the desire to create a vision of the future that is appealing and makes people smile.
With Hello! (Honda Electric mobility Loop), mobility comprises both an energy loop and a communications loop. The energy loop offers cleaner energy that begins at the point of generation and continues with use in the vehicle. The communications loop brings people and mobility closer together for greater convenience and safety through an enhanced interchange of information. Honda designed all of the mobility products in the Hello! exhibit —EV-Cub, EV-N, EV-Monpal and U3-X—to be highly approachable and convey Honda’s vision on an emotional level.
The EV-Cub is a nimble, approachable motorcycle that invites people to enjoy riding on a daily basis. EV-N is a cute but very promising car that suggests the possibility of true friendship between person and automobile. EV-Monpal is a helpful and friendly vehicle that assists people with special needs. The U3-X operates in harmony with people and suggests a future full of wonder. Designed to be enjoyable to ride, pleasant just to have around and easy to imagine in the scenes of one’s life, these products create a picture of a future that’s bright, and are kind both to people and to the environment.
Honda is always striving to make its vision for the near future more approachable and personal. Working to create this appealing future, Honda’s designers will continue to combine forces and produce ideas and products based on the Power of Dreams.