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Category: Technology

Honda Deveops Walking Assist Exoskeleton

Honda has been working on a walking assist exoskeleton for the past 14 years and has recently leased 100 of their exoskeletons to hospitals in Japan to “evaluate their usefulness in the real world.”

What is a “walking assist exoskeleton”?

According to this interesting article, it is a device that will help individuals with a walking disability regain mobility and the ability to walk. Check out the article for some amazing pictures.

It’s true, Apple Valley Honda, Northwest Honda, and Sims Honda will probably not sell the walking assist exoskeleton, but we thought this was an incredible story of Honda’s ingenuity, innovation, and dedication to technology bettering the lives of all people. It is truly amazing to consider the implications the Honda walking assist exoskeleton could have on the life of an individual who has been injured or struck by illness.

What do you think of Honda’s walking assist exoskeleton? Do you know anyone who could benefit from technology like it?

“Honda LaneWatch is Awesome”

We LOVED this article that simultaneously mocks our reliance and desire for technology while praising the “awesome” Honda LaneWatch technology available on all trims of the 2013 Honda Accord.

According to the writer of this article, what technology don’t we need? Twitter available on our refrigerators as offered by Samsung (“I just got ice. #cold #drink #icerocks2013 #yourdrinkiswarmerthanmine“).

He also takes a hit on Toyota Infotainment system that allows you search for and buy movies tickets and also make dinner reservations while driving to pick up your date (ideally, you would’ve done that beforehand, but life happens). And for good reason. With many states passing laws outlawing handheld cell phones because they distract drivers, what part of searching for the perfect date movie and restaurant while speeding down the interstate sounds like a safe idea?

The writer lists several other good and bad technology examples but then he gets to his point: “I think Honda LaneWatch is Awesome.”

Honda LaneWatch technology works by using video to display your blindspot on the screen on your dash every time you flip your turn signal. So, as you indicate you are going to switch lanes, the screen in the dash shows you exactly what is around you so you can make a good decision (hopefully).

“I recently had a Honda Accord press car with LaneWatch, and I was so impressed by the feature that I didn’t use the passenger mirror once throughout the entirety of my time with the car. This is pretty cool: a camera that completely takes the place of a side-view mirror. Concept cars have teased the idea for years, but here I was actually experiencing it in a $25,000 Honda Accord!”

After his test drive, he admitted that he missed the technology: “Still, when used for its intended purpose, LaneWatch is tremendously helpful. The picture’s clear, it’s aimed exactly where you want, and – to help you decide if it’s safe to change lanes – it even displays three different on-screen lines: Green, Yellow, and BMW Driver…When I gave back the Accord and returned to my LaneWatch-less SUV, I began to realize just how much technology is missing from my life.”

Stop by Sims Honda, Northwest Honda, or Apple Valley Honda dealerships today so you can take the 2013 Honda Accord for a test drive and find out for yourself why Honda LaneWatch technology is truly “awesome.”

 

 

Honda May Enter Airplane Market Soon

Honda is applying its practical automotive design to small jet airplanes and may be soon jetting individuals off into the wild blue yonder.

According to this Wall Street Journal blog article, “Motor Co.’s aircraft unit said it began flight testing of its fifth HondaJet aircraft. The company said the test is a significant step toward FAA certification of the light-jet design, which is designed for business and personal use.”

Honda has been developing a HondaJet for decades and seems to be closer than ever to its sky-high goal. The HondaJet still has standards and safety tests to go through, but with the most recent model of the HondaJet completing a successful test flight, things are headed in the right direction (up).

“An aircraft’s first flight is an important and emotional milestone,” said Honda Aircraft Co. president and chief executive Michimasa Fujino. “This is especially true for our fifth FAA-conforming HondaJet,” he said.

While the $4.5 million price tag is definitely more than your average Honda automobile, it seems like a pretty reasonable deal and HondaJet promises to have better gas mileage than other light aircraft, which is important in keeping jet ownership costs down (wouldn’t want to have start charging yourself ridiculous baggage fees like major airlines do in order to compensate for the price of fuel). What do you think? Would you purchase a HondaJet for you business? Would your ride in one or do small aircraft make you nervous no matter the maker?

Rear Visibility Cameras Can Save Young Lives

This touching article about a mom who accidentally ran over her young son as she backed out of her driveway illustrates exactly how rear visibility cameras, or backup cameras, could help save lives of many children around the country.

It is a sad story that has been repeated more than 1,000 times from 1990 to 2010. Oftentimes, children are injured or killed by those who love them most who simply didn’t see them behind the car.

As the article points out, “driver expectation” is a big part of the reason incidents like these occur: drivers simply don’t expect children to be around there. In the case mentioned above, no doubt this mom expected her son to be inside with her husband, but her young son somehow got outside and onto the driveway. Drivers are most careful in parks and school areas, but, in other places, where you don’t expect children to be wandering around, drivers tend to let their guard down.

So this mom, and many other moms, have made it their mission to urge the U.S. government to require rearview cameras that will allow drivers to see in their rear blind spot. Many vehicles already have rear cameras as an option, including the popular family minivan Honda Odyssey and the 2013 Honda Accord, which includes the rearview camera standard on every model.

In fact, “According to Edmunds.com, a privately held automotive information firm, 70 percent of 2012 model year vehicles have backup cameras available on one package or more.”

As is pointed out by many supporters, they believe the cost auto manufacturers claim to add cameras to every new vehicle will go down as more and more manufacturers apply it, and, so far, that seems to be true. Honda is a great example of that: instead of making the rearview camera an option for higher-end models, the 2013 Honda Accord is the first vehicle to include the backup camera standard on all trims. No doubt, this won’t be the last vehicle to do that, either.

Is having a backup camera a big selling-point for you as a car shopper? Do you think backup cameras should be required to be installed in all new cars?

Honda Odyssey Steals New York Auto Show with New Functional Feature

We read about a lot of really cool gadgets and features automobile manufactures put in their vehicles, so it takes a lot to get us a THIS excited about what Honda put in the new Honda Odyssey. Any guesses? Ok, we’ll tell you because we just can’t keep it to ourselves any longer:

A vacuum!

We know, we know. It sounds rather lame until you pause to think about how wonderful it would really be to have a vacuum right there in your car!

We all know you have arrived at adulthood when you started getting excited about things like new appliances, new socks, and other ‘mundane’ items. Equally so, you know you have arrived at parenthood when you are driving around in a minivan, which by many accounts is not so exciting (unless it’s the Honda Odyssey, which can really move). However, Honda has managed to combine the seemingly not so cool minivan with excitement over seemingly mundane things and made REALLY cool and functional feature.

And it’s not just us parents who are excited about the possibility of not having to haul the vacuum out to the car or stop at a car wash every time a kid steps on a mountain of spilled fish crackers. EVERYONE at the New York International Auto Show was crowded around  to see the vacuum, which, according to this article, stole the show!

The article points out that the Honda Odyssey didn’t change much from the previous version (and why would it? It’s the best-selling and highest quality minivan in the industry), except for the new vacuum that acts like a central vacuum system in many new homes.

“You plug the hose onto the wall and start cleaning. Honda spokesman Chris Martin demonstrated the machine’s speed at picking up Fruit Loops and  fragments of Goldfish crackers. The hose is long enough to reach every corner of the interior and can also be used to clean another car parked nearby.”

What do you think? Is the fact that Honda ingeniously included a vacuum in the Honda Odyssey big news?

 

Honda Develops App to Reduce Traffic Congestion

Here’s one of the things we love about Honda: they don’t just manufacture great cars, they try to create a better driving experience.

One of Honda’s latest technological developments to create a better driving experience includes a smartphone app that will alert you if the cars around you (ie in front of you) are starting to slow down so you can possibly change your route. The other major thing it does is let you know if you are driving in a way that could increase congestion, specifically by braking hard and/or too frequently.

It will also help increase your fuel efficiency.

Here’s how the app works according to this article, “The system displays either a green or blue screen, visible at a glance. Green means your driving is aligned with the surrounding vehicles and the chances of congestion are low. If the smartphone app turns blue, that means your driving is likely to create congestion and the app will guide you to realign your driving with the surrounding traffic flow.”

So, whether you are driving down Fairhaven in Bellingham, I-5 in Burlington or through the apple orchards in Wenatchee, this new Honda app can not only help you avoid congestion, but help you notcreatecongestion (although, there’s not a lot you can do about tractors mozying down the road).

But will this technology really make a difference? According to the test Honda has done in Indonesia, it does. “The company said, however, that when its app was tested in Jakarta, Indonesia between September 2012 and February 2013, traffic jams were delayed by an average of three to four minutes and fuel efficiency improved by 20 to 22 percent.”

What do you think? Would you find this app helpful? Would you use it all the time or just in high-traffic times/areas?

See the Future of Driving

Honda is showing people the future of driving in their windshields.

Honda has developed a ‘head up display’ that will show important information right on the windshield of the vehicle. Information like road names of passing streets so drivers do not have to turn their heads to try to find sometimes hidden street signs.

According to this article, “In Honda’s seminar, Victor Ng-Thow-Hing, principal scientist at the Honda Research Institute in Mountain View, Calif., showed head-up display technology that makes current production examples look extremely primitive. Instead of simply projecting a speed readout or turn-by-turn directions on the windshield, Ng-Thow-Hing demonstrated work in augmented reality, projecting location sensitive information useful to drivers.”

Another application of this technology is a projected grid that shows what where the driver’s vehicle is in relation to other cars immediately around it and what they are doing (ie slowing down, stopped).

“The second example projected the path of the driver’s car when waiting to make a turn through an intersection, coloring the path in red when oncoming traffic made going ahead with the turn unsafe. Ng-Thow-Hing pointed out that drivers cannot always correctly estimate the distance and speed of traffic coming through an intersection, and so make mistakes that can lead to a crash. With this system, sensors would see the oncoming traffic and the car’s processor would determine when the driver could safety make a left turn through the intersection.”

While we think this technology is definitely useful, we also wonder if this projection technology would be distracting. What do you think?

 

 

Honda is “Recycling” Rare Earth Metals

Honda is putting to good use material from the batteries of hundreds of hybrid vehicles that were rendered unsellable after the earthquake and tsunami in March 2011.

 

Honda is now able to extract rare earth metals from the batteries of 387 hybrid vehicles and put them into new batteries for new hybrid vehicles. This is an important process because the metals from these batteries are, well, rare, so any opportunity to not have mine for more is awesome.

According to this article there is no need to worry about the quality of battery in Honda hybrids.

“The good news is that the rare earth metals extracted in this process have a purity ofmore than 99%, which is as high as that of ordinary traded, newly mined rare earth metals. In addition, the new process enables the extraction of as much as above 80% of rare earth metals contained in nickel-metal hydride battery.”

This new ‘rare earth metals’ extraction system will not only be used on hybrid vehicles damaged by the tsunami in Japan, but as the process is worked out, will be used for batteries collected by dealerships as they get used hybrid vehicles. That will, undoubtedly, make a big difference in the overall environmental impact of the hybrid vehicle itself and Honda processes in general.

 

2013 Honda Accord’s Technology Makes it a “Contender”

The performance, design, and overall quality of the 2013 Honda Accord has been well-documented by critics and consumers alike, but this reviewer sums up much of the success of the 2013 Honda Accord in one word: technology. Here’s what he had to say about some of his favorite technological features of the 2013 Honda Accord:

LaneWatch: “Instead of a simple blind spot warning light in the right exterior mirrror, Honda has a camera that SHOWS you what’s behind there. The camera displays its image on the “navi” screen, so as soon as you turn on your right turn signal, a video shows the road behind you on the right fading away. Of course, if there’s something in that vicinity, you’ll see that, too…The left outside rearview mirror has a split mirror with a more convex surface on the outer edge, again acting like a blind spot monitor. At first, I thought the convexity wasn’t enough, but it proved to be just right.”

Center console cameras: “There are two screens in the center of the dash; one for the navigation system (and back-up camera and blind spot monitor) and one for audio. If you aren’t using the top screen, it becomes a second audio screen.”

Green driving: “The best aid to green driving, however, is the speedometer surround. In normal mode, it is white, but when you start driving more economically, it turns green. Like many of these features, it almost becomes a game trying to keep it green.”

We agree that the technology included standard in all trims of the 2013 Honda Accord is what sets it apart from all other midsize sedans. That’s right, every trim comes with LaneWatch technology and a backup camera because Honda thinks that every driver should have technology to be safer.

Stop by Northwest Honda, Sims Honda, or Apple Valley Honda today to see for yourself all the technology that the 2013 Honda Accord has to offer you!

 

 

Honda Develops Technology to Reduce Door Weight by 17 Percent

Honda is again paving the way to create better technology and better cars in the future. Strike that. Honda is paving the way to create better cars starting in March.

Honda engineers developed a way to create a steel-aluminum door panel, including how to join the two materials, technology to prevent corrosion, and technology to control thermal deformation. Traditionally, door panels are made of strictly steel; by using aluminum for part of the door, Honda reduced the door weight by 17 percent.

The technology will be on the Acura RLX starting in March.

Naturally, any amount the car weight is decreased will help with Honda’s industry-leading gas mileage. And, no doubt, Honda engineers have managed to decrease the weight without compromising the integrity of the vehicle or safety of the passengers.

Here’s what it took to make this new technology work according to this article:

  • “Technology to join dissimilar materials: adoption of “3D Lock Seam” structure, where the steel panel and aluminum panel are layered and hemmed together twice (see figure 1).
  • Technology to prevent electrical corrosion: adoption of highly anti-corrosive steel for the inner panel and a new form that assures the complete filling of the gap with adhesive agent (see figure 2).
  • Technology to control thermal deformation: adoption of adhesive agent with low- elastic modulus and optimized position of the 3D Lock Seam.”

Leave it to Honda to innovate some of the latest and greatest technologies!

 

 

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