Car and tech companies continue to partner up, but Honda and SoftBank’s newly-announced union is a little different from most. Rather than working on self-driving cars, or a more connected vehicle, Honda and SoftBank are working on making an artificial intelligence that with sensors and cameras that can converse with drivers.
If the aim is really friendliness, rather than bad-ass stunts designed to help David Hasselhoff nail bad guys, then Herbie the Love Bug might be a better analogy to what the Honda/SoftBank partnership aims to accomplish. And the track record of robots created by both companies suggests a softer side for any future car companion.
Honda’s Asimo is actually celebrating its sweet sixteen this year in October, and the humanoid robot is one of the most recognizable in the world. The bot has even been a guest on quiz shows, and literally made great strides when it learned to run in 2005.