Honda will manufacture flying cars, rockets and robots: almost 40,000 million euros to adapt to the mobility that comes
Car manufacturers know that mobility is undergoing a process of transformation and several of them are determined to change the way they work from top to bottom. This is the case of Honda. The Japanese manufacturer, which in addition to vehicles, already manufactures solar panels and industrial robotics, has announced a huge investment of 5 trillion yen, about 38,500 million euros, in various sectors that are called to be considerably relevant during the next decades.
Honda will expand its projects with the manufacture of flying cars (eVTOL), Avatar-style remote telepresence robots, and space industry-focused rockets.
Major car manufacturers start investing in eVTOL
They are popularly called flying cars, but their technical name is eVTOL (‘electric vertical take-off and landing’). These are focused vehicles for intercity journeys with the ability to move across the sky and land and take off vertically.
Companies such as Airbus, Uber, Porsche or Toyota are investing large amounts in these flying taxis, but for the moment the regulations of the different countries do not make it clear what space these vehicles will be able to occupy.
In the case of Japan, work is beginning on a roadmap that marks 2023 as the year in which these ‘flying cars’ will be able to start transporting goods, with an eye toward the end of the decade so that they can transport people . It is Japan, land of manufacturers such as Toyota or Honda itself, which is promoting these eVTOLs with the aim of improving the mobility of its large densely populated cities.
Over the next six years, Honda will invest nearly € 40 billion in developing these technologies as part of a boost to its R&D department.
Honda describes that these eVTOLs could be used as part of an urban taxi service. Unlike other companies, Honda describes that it plans to bet on a hybrid solution instead of using only lithium ion batteries.
The company will combine the electric motor with gas turbines to achieve a autonomy of up to 400 kilometers, compared to the range of “several tens of kilometers” that have the purely electric options, as described by Honda.
The schedule foreseen by Honda is to specify what this taxi service would look like before 2025, with the date in mind of 2030 for its commercial launch. Time when regulatory certification will have a better chance of being ready.
An “Avatar” robot and more presence in the space industry
In addition to the commitment to eVTOLs, Honda’s plans include the manufacture of remote assistance robots. Some “Avatar” robots, as the company itself names them, with screens and the ability to interact remotely. As the company describes, these robots would serve so that “people can fulfill their obligations at a distance”.
Another of the sectors where Honda will invest will be in rocket technology, to be able to launch satellites in low orbit. In June of this year, the company partnered with the Japanese Aerospace Agency (JAXA) for the development of a reusable energy system in space.
More information | Sling