As we said in December 2019, Honda brought it the new smartphone integration system until CES 2020 – but that is far from the only thing that the house that Soichiro has built that is interesting for motorcyclists. From a three-wheeled scooter concept to interchangeable battery technology to a communication system within the vehicle, there is a density of things to unpack here.
Let's start with the Electric Smart Mobility three-wheeled scooter concept. Because it is a concept, no specific details are available about the ESMO and there is no indication whether it will ever see production. From Honda's video, it looks more like a mobility scooter than a mobility scooter, but maybe there is more than that, and we just don't see what Honda has shown so far.
The main point of ESMO does not seem to be the vehicle itself, but rather this vehicle as a demonstration of the larger Honda Energy Management Concept, which also includes the Honda Mobile Power Pack. This is the portable, interchangeable, rechargeable battery solution from Honda. The company also introduced a version of its charging station concept that allows these HMPPs to be exchanged.
The HMPP system is a system that Honda proposes to power any number of Honda devices, from automated delivery vehicles to food stalls, computers, motorcycles, to almost anything that requires electrical power.
Honda is hardly the only one who speaks of self-driving – or, in the case of Honda, improved driving techniques – car technologies. If that has a chance of working, those vehicles must be able to talk to each other to prevent collisions. To this end, Honda has conducted practical tests of its Safe Swarm and Smart Intersection technologies in Ohio.
This technology integrates functions such as merging assistance, lane optimization and general communication of location and speed of interconnected vehicles. It will also make extensive use of sensors that allow vehicles to "look through and around buildings and walls virtually in all weather conditions to help drivers identify and warn of otherwise hidden hazards," said Honda.
It is unclear what Honda intends to integrate this technology with its motorcycles or scooters. However, given Honda's general approach to connectedness, it would be somewhat surprising if it did not intend to include motorcycles and scooters in its overall smart vehicle communication plan in any way. Will this be integrated with Smartphone As Brain (which seriously needs a better name)? It is all speculation at this point, but maybe.