Honda has unveiled a 'Micro Commuter Prototype' in Japan that could be a forerunner of vehicles to come, based on new category regulations for "micro-sized mobility products" under consideration in Japan and Europe.
Using vehicles based on this prototype model, Honda will begin demonstration testing in Japan in 2013 to verify the potential of the vehicle in various scenarios.
They will include supporting everyday short-distance transportation for families with small children and for senior citizens, home delivery services, commuting and car sharing.
Advancing the Micro Commuter Concept that was first introduced at the Tokyo Motor Show in 2011, this prototype model features a cabin that seats one driver and two children in the micro-sized body.
The adoption of the Variable Design Platform positions components such as the battery, motor, electric motor and control unit under the floor and in the rear space to concentrate the vehicle driving functions into a compact space.
Thus it was comparatively easier to develop and produce a body and interior that accommodates various uses and customers’ needs than existing vehicles.
Other features of this model include the use of a user-owned tablet device for the application of functions such as metre display, navigation, audio and back-up camera display, and the ability to charge the battery of the tablet using solar cells mounted on the vehicle roof.
Honda is continuing research of onboard solar cells to provide solar energy to assist the driving.
Key Specifications of Micro Commuter Prototype
Vehicle size (length × width × height)2,500 × 1,250 × 1,445 (mm)
Maximum speed80 km/h
Maximum rangeApproximately 60 km