The NeuV, or New Electric Urban Vehicle, is a 2-seater that looks kind of like a Mini with doors that shift up 90 degrees. Given that private vehicles today sit idle 96 percent of the time, Honda thinks the NeuV could "function autonomously as a ridesharing vehicle" and earn you some extra cash, said Yoshiyuki Matsumoto, President of Global Research and Development. The concept car could also sell energy back to the electrical grid during times of high demand when it's not in use.
The NeuV also has a bunch of cool artificial intelligence features: it can detect the emotions behind your driving choices, then make new recommendations based on your past decisions. It can also check on how you're feeling; if it senses that you're blue it may suggest upbeat music.
"Our goal is to create something new that advances mobility and makes people's lives better," Frank Paluch, president of Honda R&D Americas, said on stage here.
The auto maker also showed off a self-balancing motorcycle. Matsumoto said the company created the motorcycle to "give people joy of riding, while greatly reducing the possibility of falling over" while it's at rest.
This idea isn't unheard of, but Honda has a different approach. Self-balancing motorcycles from other companies stay upright with the help of gyroscopes, which Honda said can add a lot of weight to the vehicle and change the riding experience. Honda's Riding Assist motorcycle, on the other hand, leverages robotics technology the company originally developed for its UNI-CUB electric scooter to avoid falling over.
Yes, you just read that correctly. The car maker reasons that millennials are growing up, or they will soon, regardless of whether they want to admit it. And at that point they'll want a tricked-out minivan, because babies.
Chrysler's Portal concept is customizable and was designed to grow with you. If you buy it as a single person, you can opt to have just one seat inside, for instance. If babies come along, you can order up to five more seats, which offer "hammock-like comfort" and "amazing legroom," as Engineer Ashley Edgar, one of four millennials the company sent on stage to show off the vehicle, explained.
Chrysler wants people to see the car as a "third space" after your home and work, Edgar said. On the inside, the "steering wheel" isn't a wheel at all. The control is supposed to look like something out of a racecar or luxury jet. And when the car is in self-driving mode, this control tucks away flush with the instrument panel, so it's completely hidden.
If you're always misplacing your keys, no worries: Chrysler has a solution. The Portal uses biometric technology to recognize you as you walk up. It'll greet you and open the door, then automatically adjust to your preferences, playing your favorite music and setting itself to your preferred temperature, for instance, based on your personal cloud-based profile.
Eight docking stations are placed throughout the vehicle, so everyone can charge up their gadgets. The car is also "device agnostic," so it will grow with you and adjust to your needs over time, said User Experience Designer Emilio Feliciano. So, new parents can plug a baby monitor in the back and access the video up front, he said. When the kid gets a little older, you can plug in a Baby Einstein tablet, and over time the little one may graduate to an Xbox or PlayStation. The car will support all these gadgets.
In terms of aesthetics, the vehicle was designed around the doors, which open away from each other, towards the front and back of the vehicle, forming a 5-foot-wide portal for which the car was named. Around the doors is a border of light, which can be customized to a number of different jewel tones, similar to what Uber is doing with its color-pairing beacons. When the car is in autonomous driving mode, the border around the doors will default to a standard color so other people on the road know what's up.