Honda’s Iemobi Concept Car is an On-Road Living Room
September 25 2018, Honda Queensway
Asking the question of whether it's a house or a car is just scratching the surface of what Honda's IeMobi concept is about. This look at the near-future considers how autonomous (self-driving) cars will impact our perceptions and expectations from automobiles. The latest Honda News here is that the company's engineers are thinking that those changes of perception will include the idea that our living room can be on the road.
The IeMobi is part of the Honda 2018 look at the future of driving. The concept is, almost literally, a living room on wheels. Comfortable (and reconfigurable) seating, wooden floors, and even an ottoman to lift one's feet are ideas here. Desks, small tables, and other surfaces could also be incorporated in this mobile living space.
Honda's engineers see this latest piece of Honda News as a chance to reimagine what a typical daily commute might be like for a small family. While dad finishes shaving and then reads the daily newspaper on his tablet, mom helps junior finish his homework before he's dropped off at school. She then calls the office to get updates on the day's schedule as dad dons his suit jacket and exits the car with a kiss as he heads through the front door of his work building. Mom then arrives at work and instructs the IeMobi to find parking while she's at work.
On the weekends, the IeMobi could be reconfigured as a Honda 2018 pantry for grocery trips or a day out at the park. When guests arrive, the IeMobi could be configured to become a guest room and even a self-actualized conveyance to and from travel points.
With five square metres of living space on the go, this latest entry from the Honda News concept room is an interesting idea of what the near-future of autonomous vehicles could bring.
The concept centres on its name, with the Ie using the Japanese word for "home" and mobi coming from the word "mobility." This electric vehicle is fully autonomous and was designed to become an extension of the home rather than just a car. Its squared design allows it to be slotted into a building's side as an extension of a current home or apartment, with the large back wall of the IeMobi being able to slide up for a total opening or the side door being capable of becoming a house door for entry to the vehicle. This could also allow the vehicle to be an extension of the home every day with no need to walk into the elements when entering the IeMobi for transportation.
The video accompanying the IeMobi concept at the Tokyo Connected Lab shows the IeMobi Honda 2018 being used as a way to convey an elderly couple to the grocery store as they drink tea. Most of the vehicle's operations, including furniture rearrangement, are automated. The IeMobi is part of a larger Honda Family Motor concept in which an automated vehicle and several "last mile" vehicles (scooters and the like) are combined to become a part of a family's lives rather than the car being a single entity with more limited uses.