Honda has turned its Silicon Valley Lab into a new company officially called Honda R&D Innovations, Inc., but known colloquially as Honda Innovations. The company will pursue research and product development beyond just cars, and will also look to partner with startups and other companies on future projects, Honda says.
Honda Innovations will still be headquartered in Mountain View, and its new CEO is the former senior program director of Honda Silicon Valley Lab, Nick Sugimoto, so it definitely inherits a lot from its previous incarnation. The company will spearhead development of projects looking at IoT and connected vehicles/cities, human machine interface projects, robotics and machine intelligence including AI, as well as personal mobility and sharing economy services. The new company will also be the contact point for ongoing discussions with Waymo about integrating the Alphabet-owned company’s self-driving tech in future Honda vehicles.
The new entity will also oversee Honda’s Developer Studio and Xcelerator programs, which focus on software application creation for Honda’s various platforms, and on providing early- to late-stage startups with funding and support, respectively. Basically, this is Honda’s U.S.-based tech subsidiary, something which a lot of automakers are creating to one degree or another.