Honda has revealed it mid-term plans for the future with Honda CEO Takahiro Hachigo unveiling the company's 2030 Vision plan.
Honda has ambitiously set itself a target of becoming a global leader in the areas of safety and the environment, aiming to transition the company to one that is both carbon output-free while also striving to establish a collision-free society.
So far Honda’s lukewarm success with mild hybrid systems, and the limited-availability Clarity family of hydrogen fuel cell and electric vehicles overseas, don’t look like the makings of a market leader. But Honda hopes to turn that around, starting in 2018 with the launch of a new all-electric car for the Chinese market,and is expected to start demonstrating its autonomous technologies in concept form soon.
Previously Honda was the first automaker in Australia to offer a petrol-electric hybrid, with the launch of the original Insight beating the Toyota Prius to market here, and following it with hybrid versions of the Civic and Accord, a more practical second-generation five-door Insight, plus the oddly-unsporting CR-Z sports car, all of which have since been withdrawn for sale.
As part of the 2030 Vision plan Honda stressed that it would be strengthening its development of electric vehicles alongside the company’s existing hydrogen fuel cell research programs.
Announced towards the end of 2016, Honda has established an electric vehicle R&D team tasked with creating a new electric vehicle from the ground up. Honda is aiming to convert around two-thirds of its sales to vehicles featuring some degree of electrification by 2030.
Honda is also looking towards future mobility programs with the changing face of the automotive industry focussing less on the car as we currently know it through the development of autonomous technologies, to which Honda is applying its expertise in robotics and artificial intelligence.
Honda revealed its vision of the future earlier this year with the AI-capable NeuV Concept, but in the near-future the brand will look to expand the reach of its Honda Sensing advanced safety technologies with a plan for all new models sold in Japan to include this as standard equipment, before rolling out in international markets.
Honda has recently come under fire from the Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP) for not offering driver aids like autonomous emergency braking as standard on most of its new models.
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