Biomimicry gives us the All-Terrain-Vehicle of the 23rd Century
If the horse is not humanity’s favorite animal, it should be, as it has served us far better than any other domesticated animal. It has been the predominant form of personal transport for the last millennia, has done more work for us than any animal, and its mastery became the fundamental military technology which helped Genghis Khan build the biggest empire in history. Indeed, Honda’s choice of the horse as a metaphor for the type of vehicle we will be driving a hundred years hence is incredibly apt.
The horse fits perfectly with our perception of reliable, inventive and loyal companions, as modern media has given us many role models for the concept – from Black Beauty to Mister Ed, and dozens of iconic action equines such as the Lone Ranger’s Silver, Hopalong Cassidy’s Topper, The Rifleman’s Razor and Roy Roger’s Trigger.
The Intelligent Horse is very smart as it is set “several hundred years” in the future. Artificial intelligence, voice recognition and even thought recognition will no doubt be far more advanced then, than they now are.
Artificial intelligence research has already been underway for many years and there have been several attempts to develop a suitable personality for a car, most notably Nissan’s Pivo II and Toyota’s POD and PM Concept, and Toyota already holds patents on cars that show their feelings (and yours).
Honda’s Intelligent Horse uses artificial intelligence to develop the personality of the car into a cross between a personal assistant and the rider/driver’s companion, with presumably quite a few autonomous and semi-autonomous technologies which sense the environment and make decisions based on what it perceives.
Going forward, Honda will undoubtedly play a major role in the future of personal transport. It may not have invented the motorcycle but Honda was the first to make it reliable enough for the masses. Its marketing was largely responsible for popularizing motorcycles as a form of transport and it has been the world’s foremost manufacturer of motorcycles for half a century.
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