Honda Silicon Valley Lab, the global open innovation hub within Honda R&D Americas, Inc., will expand its areas of focus beyond vehicles and broaden its responsibility to develop partnerships as a new company, Honda R&D Innovations, Inc., to be known as “Honda Innovations.” The new company will seek transformative collaborations within all areas of Honda’s activities. Honda Innovations will remain located in Mountain View, CA, and will operate globally as it seeks to partner with innovators ranging from startup and global brands to design and development communities. Watch a video introduction at http://honda.us/HondaInnovations.
Nick Sugimoto, who has served as the senior program director of Honda Silicon Valley Lab, has been named as the CEO of Honda Innovations.
Honda Innovations’ focus areas include Connected Vehicle/Internet of Things (IoT) services, Human Machine Interface, Machine Intelligence/Robotics, Connected Services, Personal Mobility, Sharing Economy, and Industrial Innovation. Additionally, Honda Innovations will facilitate discussions on technical collaboration with Waymo to integrate Waymo’s self-driving technology with vehicles from Honda. A memorandum of understanding between Honda R&D Co., Ltd. and Waymo was signed in late 2016.
“We’re witnessing a convergence of technologies that will transform mobility, create new business opportunities, and change the way we manufacture products,” said Honda Innovations CEO, Nick Sugimoto. “By looking broadly across technology areas and partnering with innovators across the globe, we can create products and services that enhance the lives of our customers.”
Honda Developer Studio and Honda Xcelerator, two open innovation programs established as part of Honda’s operations in Silicon Valley, will continue to serve as catalysts within the newly established Honda Innovations to discover and experiment with new technologies and business concepts.
Honda Xcelerator supports tech innovators across all funding stages who seek to transform the mobility experience in a collaborative environment. The program offers funding for rapid prototyping, a collaborative workspace, and pairing with Honda mentors. Honda Developer Studio enables developers to work directly with Honda engineers to create apps that are road-ready more quickly.
After launching in 2011, Honda Silicon Valley Lab collaborated with Apple to integrate Apple CarPlay, the smarter, safer way to use your iPhone in the car. Honda also worked with Google to integrate Android AutoTM, offering customers a simpler way to use Android devices in their cars. Honda later deployed both of these platforms on the 2016 Honda Accord. Since then, the Lab has collaborated with a number of innovators on a wide variety of software and hardware technologies to enhance the in-vehicle experience.
At CES 2017, Honda Developer Studio demonstrated a mobile payment app that will allow consumers to pay for services such as gasoline and public parking from the comfort and safety of their vehicles. Honda Developer Studio also announced that Dream Drive, an immersive in-car VR experience triggered by the motion of the vehicle, would be powered by DreamWorks Animation and feature content from DreamWorks’ animated film Trolls.
Honda Xcelerator, which demonstrated at CES an optical microphone and a 3D holographic display, established its presence in Tel Aviv in 2016, partnering with OurCrowd, the world’s leading equity crowdfunding platform. In 2017, Xcelerator expanded its presence in Israel by partnering with innovation center and tech incubator DRIVE. Efforts to collaborate with Israeli innovators have already resulted in a partnership with optical sensor company, VocalZoom.
Through a partnership with MassChallenge, a global early-stage startup accelerator headquartered in Boston, MA, Honda Xcelerator is collaborating with New England’s top tech innovators and entrepreneurs in areas such as manufacturing innovation.