Tue. Nov 12th, 2019

Honda Dream Drive — hands-on with a prototype for automobile infotainment

The Honda Dream Drive is a passenger info and leisure expertise that’s meant to present us an thought of what being a automobile driver and a passenger might be like sooner or later. What Honda confirmed off for the primary time a few years in the past is now being examined as a strategy to combine driver and passenger infotainment, commerce, companies, and rewards dashboards.

It integrates each voice instructions and touchscreens. I took a spin in a 2019 Honda Passport SUV just lately with the prototype of Honda Dream Drive in Mountain View, California. I rode within the backseat to check out the leisure choices on an iPad, whereas the Linked Journey — which created the infotainment platform — and Honda group confirmed me the way it all works.

The Honda Dream Drive’s driver dashboard is optimized for issues like parking, gasoline funds, restaurant reservations, meals ordering for pickup or supply, ticketing, audio, location sharing, and rewards. One of many causes Honda teamed up with Linked Journey is that automobile know-how growth typically takes far longer — as a lot as 5 years — earlier than it makes its means into new fashions.

Above: Lego has a mixed-reality expertise for the automobile.

Picture Credit score: Linked Journey

“The middle of it’s creating experiences that improve driving a car for each drivers and passengers,” stated Bryan Biniak, CEO of Linked Journey, in an interview with VentureBeat. “You are able to do this with voice and utilizing the information that’s accessible within the car telematics. Then, you fuse it with issues like climate or mapping, and that provides you the flexibility to create mixed-reality experiences.”

By the Linked Journey firm, Honda collaborated with Atom Tickets, Chevron U.S.A., The Espresso Bean & Tea Leaf, Grubhub, Glympse, iHeartRadio, IPS Group, Arrive, Parkopedia, Phillips 66, Yelp, and USAA. Linked Journey did the work to combine all these companies into the expertise.

For Honda Dream Drive’s passenger dashboard, Honda collaborated with AAA, DC, Entercom/Radio.com, the Lego Group, Silvergate Media and the Octonauts group, and Univision Music.

Since 2016, Honda has labored with Visa to construct and improve the in-vehicle cost expertise to make funds extra handy and safe. Now, Honda is increasing its in-vehicle cost collaboration to incorporate Mastercard and PayPal.

“Sooner or later, the automobile goes to be an arcade,” stated Biniak. “It’s going to be a theater. It’s going to be a classroom. It’s going to be an workplace. As a passenger, so long as you may have your seatbelt on, there are all types of wonderful issues you are able to do. That’s the place we began.”

A gamified expertise

Above: You may acquire cash for doing actions within the automobile with Honda Dream Drive.

Picture Credit score: Linked Journey

Linked Journey created a platform that provides you rewards for utilizing the automobile’s companies. You join your iPad or iPhone to the car’s Wi-Fi community. Linked Journey’s platform can observe how a lot you employ the platform, and so, for each minute you might be related, you earn 5 factors on the platform.

The passenger can management the rear heating and air con system on the iPad. An exercise stream exhibits the actions the remainder of your loved ones have been doing within the automobile expertise. It has a leaderboard to point out who’s utilizing the system essentially the most.

These factors aren’t only for displaying off. You may redeem them for items and companies at greater than 50 brick and mortar in addition to on-line retailers. Passengers and drivers are rewarded with factors for on a regular basis driving, listening, watching, studying, and transacting with retailers, together with Amazon, Walmart, Goal, Entire Meals, Macys, AMC Theatres, Mattress Bathtub & Past, Burger King, Dominos, iHop, Petco, Regal Cinemas, Staples, The Espresso Bean & Tea Leaf, TGI Fridays, and different main manufacturers.

Above: The Octonauts expertise in a automobile.

Picture Credit score: Linked Journey

In-vehicle passenger leisure is out there from Lego, DC Comics, and The Octonauts for the Dream Drive platform. The Octonauts is a mixed-reality expertise, the place you possibly can play video games to assist save the ocean. In The Octonauts recreation, real-life buildings are represented by coral reefs, and the sport’s characters transfer with the car. Because the automobile strikes so too does the sport’s digital world. That’s as a result of the telematics of the automobile and the sport are linked. Because the automobile strikes, you choose up items of trash from the ocean ground within the recreation.

“You may mix actuality and fantasy along with the automobile information,” Biniak stated.

The apps on the platform are curated for driving journeys. Honda Dream Drive experiences embody a choice of mixed-reality video games which can be built-in with car telematics and work together with authentic comics and journey functions tuned to discover locations alongside the route, all whereas partaking within the rewards expertise straight from the passenger’s cell gadget.

Above: You may view DC Comics in your automobile.

Picture Credit score: Linked Journey

Working with Lego, Linked Journey created a Pokémon Go-style recreation. As you drive round, the map of the world exhibits up in your iPad. Totally different factors of curiosity can be found. You may play mini video games and acquire bricks to be able to earn mini-figures from the Lego assortment. I received just a little obsessive about this app whereas on my experience.

Linked Journey additionally labored with DC Comics to create a customized comedian reader for the automobile. You may see cool animations with the digital comics, and the environment may very well be tied right into a storyline. It will possibly present you totally different pictures primarily based in your environment. Many of the comedian app is offline. As you play all of those apps, you all the time earn factors.

Minimizing driver distraction

Above: Honda Dream Drive will help drivers too.

Picture Credit score: Honda

In fact, if the automobile will get into any emergency state of affairs, the infotainment display isn’t a precedence. For security causes, the automobile’s security system can override something taking place on the lesser-priority platform.

The driving force expertise makes use of a proprietary voice-controlled consumer interface, with a customized agent primarily based on Google Dialog Circulation know-how. That allowed Honda to make use of “Hana” as its invocation phrase, as a substitute of Siri or OK Google. It has a smaller universe of acknowledged instructions, however they’re geared towards driving conditions. That makes it higher for driving than another voice companies.

Whereas driving, you should use your voice to look, make reservations on companies like Yelp, order and buy takeout from the closest restaurant, or discover the most cost effective value for gasoline in your environment. You may say, “OK Hana, discover parking.” The system then appears for parking garages close to the vacation spot you’re driving to.

Above: Gamified journey in vehicles with Honda Dream Drive.

Picture Credit score: Linked Journey

Drivers are in a position to safely discover and pay for items and companies, reminiscent of gasoline, meals, espresso, film tickets, and parking. The driving force confirmed a state of affairs the place they discovered an affordable Rotten Robbie gasoline station, pulled as much as the pump, and paid for the gasoline with the Honda Pay platform.

The know-how additionally learns and understands driving behaviors serving to to incentivize and reward safer, extra aware driving. Insurance coverage supplier USAA is growing a safety-coaching utility for drivers whereas they’re in a car. It goals to extend safe-driving conduct by offering incentives. You get a rating on rushing, cellphone dealing with, and braking.

In the event you do a superb job, you get a greater rating. Throughout the challenges, driver scores improved 40 p.c. However drivers discovered issues about their very own conduct. One driver touched a cellphone 40 instances throughout a visit. The USAA app made the individual understand it. It’s not meant to punish the motive force with increased charges for dangerous driving habits.

In the event you share your contacts or calendar, the platform can suggest locations alongside your route that you simply may wish to take a look at. A few of these companies are nonetheless in growth.

Machine studying for vehicles

Above: Honda needs to discover ways to preserve you entertained in a automobile.

Picture Credit score: Honda

Linked Journey’s proprietary AI and machine studying know-how helps extremely customized infotainment and commerce companies for every driver and passenger’s distinctive day by day driving routines, offering extremely curated, contextually related car experiences.

A few of these customizations aren’t good since we are likely to do issues time and again. In the event you order meals on Grubhub, you may get the identical factor time and again. The app can provide the possibility of ordering the identical factor once more from the automobile.

However different customizations are smarter. For example, if you happen to all the time drive for 15 minutes each morning to drop the children off at college, Linked Journey can tailor the missions in The Octonauts to final 15 minutes, so your children can full the mission through the drive to high school. However if you happen to’re on a highway journey for 400 miles, the sport will stretch out the expertise as wanted.

“After some time, it will get routine and boring, so we wish to convey some journey to these on a regular basis travels,” Biniak stated. “Now, they are often considerably memorable.”

Above: You may acquire cash and redeem them for actual items.

Picture Credit score: Linked Journey

And if you’re watching a trailer, you possibly can earn factors for that. You may see the showtimes for the film related to that trailer, and you should purchase tickets for the film from inside the utility. In the event you get out of a automobile, you possibly can proceed watching a present that you simply began in a automobile, and Linked Journey can provide you 50 extra factors for finishing it. If you wish to redeem rewards, you should use a QR code and scan that on the retailer.

Linked Journey makes this platform accessible to automobile makers on a software-as-a-service foundation. It’s working with outdoors corporations, and to this point, it has collected 300 totally different utility programming interfaces (APIs) that may very well be utilized in car-related programming.

Honda Dream Drive is being constructed by Linked Journey and Honda Improvements, an accelerator in Silicon Valley. The businesses have been collaborating for a few years. They did a carpool karaoke expertise with characters from the movie Trolls in digital actuality on the HTC Vive VR headset. They determined to give attention to experiences that have been able to do now.

In fact, this method solely works effectively if in case you have a superb web connection. In the event you’re driving in some place the place you possibly can’t get that connection, then the enjoyable will undergo. Linked Journey preloads some information forward of time, however the mapping information has to come back in by way of real-time connections. As soon as 5G wi-fi broadband arrives, the connectivity for vehicles ought to get quite a bit higher.

“You get rewards for flying planes and staying in lodges,” stated Biniak. “Why not get rewards for driving in your automobile?”

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