The Honda NeuV is an electric automated mini-vehicle concept equipped with an artificial intelligence (AI) “emotion engine” and automated personal assistant, which can create new possibilities for human interaction and new value for customers.

Honda’s debutant at the 2017 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is a cute little electric city car called the Honda NeuV – short for New Electric Urban Vehicle. It’s an exploration of the fact that private vehicles sit idly for 96% of the time, and presents the idea of a car than can be used as an automated ride-sharing vehicle when the owner isn’t using it.

As is the trend these days, the NeuV has a very minimalist design, with a simple cuboid shape and plenty of glass all around. The exterior lighting, such as the ice cube-like headlights and cool upside-down U-shaped tail light, is said to have a “floating glow,” and when the car is off, it’s designed to blend into its surroundings like a polished stone.

There are no conventional doors; instead, the whole side opens up and rotates backwards to give access. Step inside and you’ll find a cabin that’s just as uncluttered as the exterior, with a widescreen display that serves as the dashboard. Outward visibility is said to be outstanding thanks to the lack of a windscreen header and a dramatically sloping beltline, improving manoeuvrability.

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Power comes from a 55 kW (73 hp) electric motor and a 20 kWh battery pack that draws power from a 6.6 kW bi-directional inductive wireless charger. Range is rated at between 161 km and 322 km, and the car can also sell electricity back to the grid at peak hours when not in use. There’s also an electric longboard housed between the rear shock absorber towers for last-mile transportation.

Like the recently-unveiled Toyota Concept-i, the NeuV features an artificial intelligence (AI) assistant called Honda Automated Network Assistant (HANA), which can also drive the vehicle by itself. It uses an “emotion engine,” developed in conjunction with SoftBank’s robotics subsidiary cocoro SB.

The system learns from the driver by detecting emotions behind their judgements, and makes new choices and recommendations based on past decisions. It will also monitor the driver’s emotional well-being, make music recommendations based on mood and support the owner’s daily driving routine.