Honda announced today that all forthcoming models will feature advanced connectivity technologies. The first example of this commitment is the availability of the My Honda+ application and Honda Personal Assistant on Honda e and all-new Jazz and Jazz Crosstar.
Tom Gardner, Senior Vice President, Honda Motor Europe, commented, “Today’s customer expects their vehicle to connect seamlessly with their wider life. Honda’s development of next-generation connectivity can clearly be seen with the launch of features such as Honda Personal Assistant and My Honda+. We are committed to widening the availability of these features to meet the expectation of our customer.”
My Honda+ app
Honda has launched its My Honda+ smartphone app to keep owners connected to their car remotely. The smartphone-based service has been redesigned with a simple, intuitive user experience that provides secure access to a range of in-car functions, including comfort, convenience and security features.
The My Honda+ app offers control of vehicle security, including Remote Vehicle Lock and Unlock of the car. For Honda e owners, an additional Digital Key function allows vehicle access to be securely shared with up to five others. Digital Key works via Bluetooth and enables owners to remotely close windows and open the charge lid as well as locking and unlocking the vehicle.
In the unlikely event of a vehicle breakdown, My Honda+ includes a ‘Digital Roadside Assistance’ feature. This allows customers to make a direct call to their subscribed roadside assistance provider with their vehicle (GPS) details automatically shared. The app also provides location monitoring and car tracking via GPS. Intelligent Geofencing can be activated to alert the owner if the vehicle breaches a pre-set ‘geofence’ zone and to further strengthen vehicle security, a notification is delivered to the smartphone app if the car's security alarm is activated.
For added security all vehicles feature E-Call for roadside assistance as standard. In the event of an emergency, such as airbag deployment, the car's location is automatically shared with the relevant emergency services.
Convenience features include the ability to send journey information, such as destination details and points of interest, from the My Honda+ app to the car’s navigation system. In the Honda e, the navigation system also incorporates data from the battery range monitor and will factor in charge point locations when long distance journeys beyond the full range of the car are required.
The app also provides Honda e owners with access to EV-specific functions. This includes Remote Battery Charge Control and Scheduler, which monitors the car's charging status and allows charging to be started or paused remotely. A charging calendar function allows charging times to be set on a daily schedule, allowing charging to occur when the most cost-effective energy tariffs are available. Honda e owners can also remotely access the car's climate control system and set the temperature to either cooler, normal and warmer before they enter the vehicle.
Honda Personal Assistant with AI
Infotainment and connectivity features in Honda e and Jazz can be activated using voice commands through Honda Personal Assistant. First seen in the Honda e and now available on the all-new Jazz, the intuitive Honda Personal Assistant is a smart artificial intelligence (AI) agent which harnesses natural, smart instruction-based conversations and contextual understanding to access a range of online services.
Honda Personal Assistant assesses command inputs with a level of complexity beyond the capabilities of other voice activated virtual assistants. The system is capable of understanding multiple requests at any one time, for more exact responses to specific queries. An owner can ask, for example: "OK Honda, find me an Italian restaurant with free parking, WiFi, that is open now." The Honda Personal Assistant locates suitable options and presents them on the touchscreen interface, before plotting the optimal route to the chosen location and displaying it on the navigation screen.
New intuitive connectivity
Honda Personal Assistant is just one feature of Honda’s redesigned infotainment systems. Both cars feature simple-to-use LCD touchscreen interfaces, designed to minimise driver distraction. In the Jazz, the simplification of the menu navigation has reduced operation time for the most regularly used controls by 58%, compared with the previous model, providing a safer operating experience. To support this, Honda has reinstated physical controls for key functions, with tactile, ergonomic dials for heating and ventilation settings across the range.
Honda interfaces are navigated using familiar smartphone-style usability, with swipe controls to browse through recently used applications and media lists. Displays can be configured to suit user preference, incorporating customisable shortcuts to frequently used functions and audio sources.
In the Honda e, the dual ultra-wide 12.3-inch LCD touchscreens allow content to easily be swapped across the two screens, enabling the driver to utilise content on both screens with simplicity and ease. This function also allows the passenger to swipe content such as navigation instructions to the driver’s screen. And because the dual screen set-up allows two applications to be displayed side-by-side, the driver and front passenger can independently select and view separate apps. So, for example, while the driver follows navigation instructions, the front passenger can search for a music playlist.
Further connected features and applications are accessed via the touchscreen or are voice activated, including weather information, parking locations, music, navigation, location finding, and telephone services. The comprehensive suite of in-built apps can be supplemented by smartphone mirroring via built-in Android Auto and Apple CarPlay functionality. Apple CarPlay can now be accessed wirelessly for the first time.
Both Honda e and Jazz also feature a WiFi hotspot capability, allowing passengers access to the internet. For Honda e owners, occupants can watch video content on one of the screens during charging sessions, while the second screen shows the charging status.
To achieve optimum stress-free ownership, Honda will deliver over-the-air updates to ensure that features and apps benefit from enhancements and new functions. The owner’s manual can also be easily accessed via the infotainment system. Honda Personal Assistant will open the owner’s manual on the relevant page to provide an answer.