As cars get more and more technology, the size of the screen inside the cabin increases as the years go by. The 2020 Honda E is on another level since, despite its petite dimensions, the car comes with a dashboard that accommodates a total of five screens. The outer ones – measuring six inches each – show footage grabbed by the standard-fit side cameras, while the one in front of the driver is the all-digital instrument cluster with an 8.8-inch diagonal.
Honda has now released a new video that highlights the two main touchscreens in the middle of the dashboard that measure 12.3 inches each. It demonstrates how easy it’s to simply drag and drop tiles from one display to the other and browse through tabs like we’re all doing on our smartphones. There’s a nifty “Vehicle Settings” section providing a 360-degree video of the electric car and facilitating access to functions such as the door/window setup, keyless access, driver’s position, and more.
Speaking of keyless access, the Honda E will come with something called a digital key, which effectively turns your smartphone into a key as you’ll be using an app to lock and unlock the vehicle. You can even program the digital key to send you alerts whenever the vehicle is moved without your knowledge outside of its pre-established geo-fence zone.
The video is less than one minute and a half long, but it’s enough to provide an idea of how complex yet easy-to-use the infotainment system is going to be. “Complex” because it bundles a lot of functions, from Bluetooth audio and multi-view camera to HDMI connectivity and a smartphone-like personal assistant. There’s also an app centre from where drivers will be able to download even more apps to further boost the infotainment’s capabilities.
We think it’s a good idea that Honda has decided to retain quick-access physical buttons and knobs for the climate control settings, and you’ll notice there are a few more of those right below the left-side touchscreen. In addition, the steering wheel incorporates additional buttons and switches, while the lower area of the centre console holds the HDMI and USB ports together with the power outlets.
Honda is happy to remind us it has already received about 36,000 “expressions of interest” for the all-electric E, which will be unveiled in production guise later this year.
HONDA E OFFERS ADVANCED CONNECTIVITY FOR MODERN LIFESTYLES
- Contemporary interior style creates calm and comfortable cabin
- Advanced connectivity experience is delivered through a five screen full-width digital dashboard
- AI-powered ‘Honda Personal Assistant’ delivers voice-accessible services
- Honda smartphone application keeps owners remotely connected to Honda e for peace-of-mind
- Digital key enables easy-to-use control of vehicle security remotely
The new Honda e features intuitive and advanced connectivity in a contemporary passenger cabin that sets a new benchmark in the compact EV segment. Complementing its simple and clean exterior styling, the interior of Honda’s new urban electric vehicle uses subtle, contemporary materials, presenting a relaxing and modern feeling space once inside.
Connected infotainment helps the car to seamlessly integrate with the owner’s modern urban lifestyle through sophisticated, easy-to-use technology. As a result, the driver and passengers – whether the car is driving, parked or charging – can enjoy the same connectivity and comfort with comprehensive connected services accessed through a next-generation full-width digital dashboard.
"Our objective for the Honda e was that the simple exterior style continues inside. The overall interior atmosphere combined with exceptional comfort by using familiar materials such as wood grain and textured fabric, is reminiscent of a modern living room.” explains Kohei Hitomi, Large Project Leader, Honda e. “In this modern, relaxing environment, occupants can effortlessly engage with advanced connected technology such as the camera mirror system and dual touchscreen display that is highly sophisticated, but incredibly easy to use.”
Full-width digital dashboard
The Honda e’s full-width digital dashboard is designed for effortless usability of connected apps and services. Five neatly integrated high-resolution colour screens together occupy the entire width of the car’s interior.
Side Camera Mirror System screens are ergonomically placed at either end of the dashboard to ensure a natural feel and vision for the driver, while the Centre Camera Mirror System display relays the image from a central rear-facing camera, further increasing the driver’s field of vision.
An 8.8-inch TFT meter instrument display in front of the driver presents key vehicle information including power and charge status, drive mode selected and safety feature details.
Dual screens display connected services side-by-side
The largest area of the Honda e’s full-width digital dashboard is occupied by dual 12.3-inch LCD touchscreens. These are the primary infotainment displays, presenting a range of intelligent applications and services. This sophisticated interface is highly intuitive, customisable, and has been designed for ultimate usability to elevate the car beyond being a means of transportation to become fully integrated into the owner’s modern connected life.
The interface features familiar smartphone-style usability, with swipe controls to browse recently used applications. Content can easily be swapped across the two screens, enabling the driver to utilise content on both screens with simplicity and ease. This function allows the passenger to swipe content such as navigation instructions into the driver’s eye line. 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. For example, while the driver follows navigation instructions, the front passenger can search for a music playlist.
Honda Personal Assistant for AI-powered connectivity
Connected services and applications can also be accessed using voice commands via Honda Personal Assistant. The intuitive Honda Personal Assistant is a smart artificial intelligence (AI) service that uses unique contextual understanding to create natural conversations and provide access to a range of online services.
The unique Honda Personal Assistant is activated by saying, “OK Honda”, followed by the question or instruction. Machine learning enables the technology to develop a greater understanding of individuals’ voice over time, helping it to deliver more accurate responses.
The comprehensive suite of in-built apps can be supplemented by seamless smartphone mirroring, via Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. These systems enable users to view social media, music and other internet services on the dual touchscreens. When the vehicle is parked – including when charging – occupants can also watch video content and access the internet on their own mobile devices using the Honda e’s Wi-Fi hotspot.
Smartphone Honda application for remote access
Away from the car, Honda e owners can enjoy the peace-of-mind of being able to stay connected to their vehicle remotely through a smartphone application.
The service has been completely redeveloped for a greater focus on the user journey, with easy navigation to access charging functions, detailed vehicle status, climate control, security and location monitoring. Additional connectivity and EV-specific functions include battery charge control and range monitor, while charging station and navigation search results can be sent to the car from a mobile device.
The Honda e is also accessible using a digital key, allowing the car to be locked and unlocked via the app. Safety alerts can notify owners if the vehicle is moved outside of a set ‘geofence’ zone.
Honda’s new compact electric vehicle is a key part of the brand’s latest commitment to feature electrified technology in 100% of its European sales by 2025. Presented in prototype form at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show, the first Honda production battery electric vehicle for the European market will make its mass production debut later this year.
Honda has already received 36,000 expressions of interest. The production version of the Honda e will be unveiled later this year and customers can make a reservation for priority ordering online in UK, Germany, France and Norway or register their interest in other European markets on the Honda national websites.