Honda doubles down on electrification, safety for the future

Ever since Honda’s founding 71 years ago, they’ve committed to deliver new values for mobility through their broad range of products from motorcycles, power products, automobiles and even jets. Today, with their 2030 Vision as a guide, Honda aims to continue doing just that, but now adding the “joy of expanding their life’s potential” as an additional guiding ethos.

The Tokyo Motor Show has a special place in Honda’s heart since it’s a motor show held in their home market. With that, they believe that it’s an occasion where the fundamental strengths of Japan and new value that only they can create can be communicated to people all around the world.

With that, Honda is showing concrete steps towards achieving a carbon-free society while also letting people experience the joy and freedom of mobility through driver-assistive features.

Honda e:technology vehicles with two and four wheels

The first is shown through Honda’s official announcement of Honda e:TECHNOLOGY, a new collective name which represents Honda’s high-efficiency electrifications technologies, including electrified two- and four-wheeled vehicles as well as Honda’s very own energy management technologies.

In the area of automobiles, Honda will be using e:HEV as the new name for their two-motor hybrid system, which will form part of Honda’s core electrification technology, and what they deem as a hybrid “for this new era,” in which vehicles can be driven mostly with an electric motor.

Known as Sports Hybrid i-MMD previously, this system uses five interlinked systems — an internal combustion engine, two electric motors, a power control unit, an engine-linked clutch, and a lithium ion battery.

The new Jazz/ Fit just about to be unveiled.

What’s clever about the i-MMD is that there is no transmission, at least in the traditional sense. There are four gearsets between the electric and combustion power sources and the front wheels, but all drive ratios are fixed. The powertrain provides three standard propulsion modes: electric-only, gasoline-only, and combined gas and electric, without shifting gears or varying a planetary ratio. Honda’s “secret sauce” takes away the conventional transmission and torque converter. And with no pulleys and one fixed gear, it delivers 46 to 80 percent less friction compared to a conventional automatic.

Hand in hand with e:HEV, Honda is also committed to add joy and freedom of mobility in its automobiles by expanding the application of Honda SENSING.

With Honda SENSING, Honda bundled together an impressive list of advanced safety and driver assistive features. The suite is composed of Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) with Low Speed Follow (LSF), Collision Mitigation Braking System (CMBS), Lane Keep Assist System (LKAS), Road Departure Mitigation (RDM), Forward Collision Warning (FCW), and Lane Departure Warning (LDW).

The new Honda e plugged to its charger

While it serves as the first step towards creating fully autonomous cars, Honda doesn’t see it as taking away any of the brand’s sporty propositions. More than anything, they see the application of advanced driver assistive features as a way for people to enjoy new counters and discoveries, while also mitigating the anxiety and risk from driving.

Honda has also said that its engineers are developing a Honda SENSING retrofit kit that focuses on preventing pedal misapplication by adding ultrasonic sensors at the front and back of the vehicle.

Moving forward, Honda will continue taking on challenges in various areas in order to serve people worldwide with the “joy of expanding their life’s potential.” With this in mind, they are re-organizing their R&D division with two defined areas: one that focuses on future vehicles with “out-of-the-box thinking,” and one that zeroes in on developing existing products.

The Tokyo Motor Show 2019 certainly provided them an opportunity to show the first concrete steps towards their 2030 Vision while also potentially attracting a broader range of customers, including young people who will forge the future.

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