With Uber and other ride-hailing or carpooling apps around us, many of us have at least once felt tempted to go down the entrepreneurial path of becoming a driver for these services.
But as this still requires some work on your behalf – like driving and keeping your car tidy (we know that’s a big nuisance for anyone) – Honda has decided to make lazy bones happy once more. That’s with the NeuV (New Electric Urban Vehicle) concept showcased in front of the audiences of the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, which is able to work for the owner while the human… is not present. Honda thinks people don’t use their vehicle 96 percent of the time, so the NeuV turns that wasted time into money time by hauling passengers autonomously when the owner doesn’t need the car. More so, the concept could even earn money for the owner while the human sleeps – because it can lower someone’s energy bills by sending electricity stored in its batteries back to the grid during periods of high demand.
“We designed NeuV to become more valuable to the owner by optimising and monetising the vehicle’s down time,” said Mike Tsay, Principal Designer at Honda R&D Americas. The NeuV is designed as a small, curved pod with lots of glass, with the rear marked by prominent LEDs. Inside, there’s room for two persons and a digital panel stretching across the entire dashboard, as well as a quirky steering wheel. There’s even an electric longboard in the back. By the way, the NeuV’s tech also features something called an “emotion engine” – a take on the artificial intelligence acting as a personal assistant. The AI would take into consideration the driver’s emotions and judgments and then come up with “ideas”, like what music to listen to or where to dine.
Power comes from a 20-kilowatt-hour battery pack that also features inductive charging, motivating a 74-horsepower (55-kilowatt) electric motor that also features a range between 100 and 200 miles (161 to 322 kilometers).