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Honda’s new AI-powered ‘golf cart’ look-alike will drive you around without a license

The new “Honda CI Micro-Mobility” self-driving EVs are set to hit the streets, combining Artificial (AI) and Cooperative (CI) technologies. Although it may resemble the look of a golf cart, Honda’s “Micro Mobility” concept is capable of much more, with features designed to shuttle around those who either don’t want to or can’t drive.

Honda to enable freedom of mobility with self-driving micro EVs

Honda has been relatively slow in introducing a pure BEV model. That being said, the automaker is plowing ahead with plans to release a lineup of self-driving electric minicars and supporting technologies.

The automaker revealed its “Honda CI Micro-Mobility” machines designed to “support the cooperation/coexistence of people, machines, and society.”

The self-driving EVs target two distinct groups of drivers: the elderly and Gen Z – those who can’t drive but still need to get around. Honda says it expects the market for these cars to grow as delivery services struggle to find workers to supplement the overwhelming demand for home delivery.

The automaker’s self-driving electric cars feature innovative technology, according to Honda, including:

  • Map-less cooperative driving
  • User intention understanding and communication

With “map-less” driving, the micro EV can recognize its surroundings through information detected by cameras navigating its way to its destination without relying on maps. Furthermore, Honda says its communication tech enables its AI electric cars to have a “humanlike understanding of words and gestures, to think and make proposals on its own.”

Honda has released two concepts: a ride-in micro EV designed for one or several passengers (CikoMa) and a micro-mobility robot (WaPOCHI) that “follows its user by remembering/recognizing distinctive characteristics.”

The automaker will begin testing at Mitsukaido Asunaro no Sato starting this month, and beginning next spring, Honda will demonstrate at Agri-science Valley.

Honda says its self-driving EVs will be available for general use around 2030.

Electrek’s Take

Yeah, Honda’s self-driving EVs and supporting tech sound intriguing (the look, not so much), but will it actually find its way into general use?

I’ve seen a lot of promises made for “next-generation” self-driving technology that have yet to see the light of day. Despite falling behind in the race to introduce fully electric vehicles, Honda has made several announcements lately to accelerate the transition.

It unveiled its first electric SUV, the Prologue, codeveloped with GM, in October while establishing a JV with Sony to build electric vehicles in June.

Will we see Honda’s self-driving EVs roaming around? Let us know what you think in the comments.

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Avatar for Peter Johnson Peter Johnson

Peter Johnson is covering the auto industry’s step-by-step transformation to electric vehicles. He is an experienced investor, financial writer, and EV enthusiast. His enthusiasm for electric vehicles, primarily Tesla, is a significant reason he pursued a career in investments. If he isn’t telling you about his latest 10K findings, you can find him enjoying the outdoors or exercising