It’s a bird! It’s a plane! Actually, it’s a Honda electric air taxi! What exactly does that mean, and what has Honda gotten into with airplanes? The Honda eVTOL is part of an expansion for the company, which hopes to bring people the “joy of expanding their life’s potential.”
The Honda eVTOL is part of Honda’s expanding company goals
Honda recently announced that the company would be taking on challenges in new areas, and the eVTOL fits right in. In addition, Honda plans to work on “electric vertical take-off and landing aircraft” plus an avatar robot. But the Honda eVTOL is more interesting than it sounds.
The phrase eVTOL stands for “electric vertical take-off and landing,” which makes sense. Honda mentions helping humans get to outer space, though it isn’t clear when that will happen. The Hona eVTOL will use a gas turbine hybrid power unit, which consists of some of the company’s new electrification technology.
The automaker wants to make the skies more accessible and is creating a mobility ecosystem using the eVTOL. The new air taxi is supposedly as safe as a commercial airplane, and the simple structure is the main feature. In addition, the decentralized propulsion system is notably quiet due to the small rotor diameter. Due to this, the Honda eVTOL can take off and land in a small area (such as a city) without causing noise issues.
Core technologies and future technology will help power the Honda eVTOL
Right now, the team is working on making the eVTOL have a more extended range. The limited battery capacity means the aircraft would be best for shorter trips, such as within the city. Honda is working on extending the range and making the aircraft a bit more user-friendly. The gas turbine hybrid power unit will help realize that. Honda is working on a variety of technological advances to make the eVTOL a reality.
In the image from Honda above, the automaker also wants to utilize current core technologies. These include Aerodynamics, Jet Engine, Formula 1 race technologies, hybrid cars, and battery technology. These technologies have gone into producing the gas turbine hybrid power unit that will help power the eVTOL.
The company is also working on the Honda Avatar Robot
The Honda Avatar Robot is set to help “expand the range of human ability virtually without the constraints of time and place/space.” That sounds like an incredibly complicated goal, but Honda hopes to bring the robot to fruition by March 31, 2024. Since Honda is working toward electrification by 2030, that timeline makes sense. Honda hopes that the robot will help people work on things remotely. This includes being able to get a “realistic sense of handling objects remotely.”
“What will become the core of the realization of such an avatar robot is the multi-fingered robotic hand developed while leveraging Honda’ strengths in robotics technologies and Honda’s original AI-supported remote control function.”Honda
Honda has already reached the first phase of this goal by developing a robot that can open a jar lid. The full press release has a lot of information about the future of Honda, and it looks like space is the goal. As the Honda eVTOL continues to evolve, look to the skies for this piece of technology.