Honda’s research and development program is set to be restructured and is headlined by a new R&D division tasked with exploring the areas of robotics, mobility systems and energy management.
Under the banner ‘R&D Centre X’ the new program will investigate what Honda describes as “new value” areas, or business opportunities that exist beyond the automaker's current vehicle production scope.
R&D Centre X will be responsible for Honda’s research into autonomously operated machines and systems, with Honda describing fields outside of the typical automotive realms, integrating artificial intelligence technology to the roster for a more widespread approach to future systems.
Honda is no stranger to the fields of robotics, with Honda’s ASIMO humanoid robot, displayed since 2000, capable of facial recognition, shaking hands, climbing stairs and opening bottles with the goal of creating a robot that can interact with and assist humans, particularly those with limited motor functions.
As such R&D Centre X will work along similar guiding principles to the ASIMO project, creating systems that work co-operatively with people and applying those protocols to a wider range of technologies.
Honda will also work with outside system developers as part of its “open innovation” plan, established by Honda R&D Innovation Lab in 2016, to encourage innovation from a wider scope of providers.
R&D Center X will also benefit from the expertise of Dr. Edward A. Feigenbaum, Professor Emeritus of Computer Science at Stanford University, identified as the foremost researcher in the field of artificial intelligence, and Mr. Kazuhiko Toyama, Managing Partner of Industrial Growth Platform, Inc. known for his successful track record in the areas of corporate renewal and new business creation.
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