Honda wants to build electric planes, reusable rockets and conquer the “4th dimension”

Moveable explores the future of transportation, infrastructure, energy and cities.

Honda, a company that manufactures cars, motorcycles, aircraft engines and more, has released a plan to build a lot more stuff which he calls “initiatives in new fields”. It’s a modest way to describe a press release with phrases like “Challenges on the lunar surface” and “reusable small rocket” and “making mobility in the sky more accessible to people”.

And it will do all of this “with absolute safety and zero environmental impact.” Yes, Honda is a modest company with modest goals: to sell cars and motorcycles at a reasonable price, and “to expand the potential of mobility in the 3rd dimension, then the 4th dimension which defies the constraints of time and space. , and ultimately in outer space. “

Honda is hardly the only company talk about electric vertical take-off and landing vehicles (eVTOLs), with several other companies looking to make air taxis a thing. For its part, Honda recognizes that these vehicles will not have sufficient range to serve as glorified urban airport shuttles, so it plans to also equip models of this yet to be built vehicle with a gasoline engine. The press release does not know how this aligns with the commitment to “zero environmental impact”. Fortunately, the company posted this helpful graphic to clarify matters:

A mobility ecosystem.

A mobility ecosystem. Screenshot: Honda

In addition to simple low-level challenges, Honda, and that’s a direct quote from the press release, including the bold accent, “began initiatives to fight for the expansion of human activities and development on the lunar surface.“Honda wants to use the water on the moon to create a circular renewable energy system using water electrolysis technologies and fuel cell systems. something that some have already proposed, I feel the need to point out that the moon, according to NASA, has water concentrations a hundred times higher than those of the Sahara Desert. So imagine someone saying they want to use all the water in Saraha to create a renewable energy ecosystem involving an incredibly water-hungry process, and then multiply the skepticism you would have about it by a factor of 100.

By comparison, Honda’s reusable small rocket initiative is quite reasonable. They’ll just build small, reusable rockets to launch satellites into low-earth orbit, which SpaceX essentially does already, but not with “small” rockets. “For this challenge, Honda will strive to use the control and guidance technologies that Honda has accumulated through the development of automated driving technologies,” the company says. A recent review of the company’s latest self-driving car project found that the car worked “in most conditions, but not all”.

This is a big and bold vision for a company that so far has released an electric car, the Honda e, which isn’t even available for purchase in the United States. until 2024, by which time he will only have six years left to realize his vision of reusable rockets filling the skies, electric vertical take-off and landing ships crisscrossing the world, and ghostly robot hands massaging the scalps of then-eminent leaders. that they consider more technologies to be exploited for the future of mobility. We can’t wait to see what they come up with next.


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