MOUNTAIN VIEW — Honda Silicon Valley Lab is getting a new name. The global innovation hub within Honda R&D Americas will expand its areas of focus beyond vehicles and broaden its responsibility to develop partnerships as a new company, Honda R&D Innovations, Inc. It will simply be known as “Honda Innovations.”
The new company will seek collaborations within all areas of Honda’s activities. Honda Innovations will remain located in Mountain View, CA, and will operate globally as it seeks to partner with innovators ranging from startup and global brands to design and development communities.
Nick Sugimoto, who has served as the senior program director of Honda Silicon Valley Lab, has been named as the CEO of Honda Innovations.
Honda Innovations’ focus areas include Connected Vehicle/Internet of Things (IoT) services, Human Machine Interface, Machine Intelligence/Robotics, Connected Services, Personal Mobility, Sharing Economy, and Industrial Innovation. Additionally, Honda Innovations will facilitate discussions on technical collaboration with Waymo to integrate Waymo’s self-driving technology with vehicles from Honda. Waymo was spun off from Alphabet Inc. last year as Google’s self-driving car unit.
“We’re witnessing a convergence of technologies that will transform mobility, create new business opportunities, and change the way we manufacture products,” said Honda Innovations CEO, Nick Sugimoto. “By looking broadly across technology areas and partnering with innovators across the globe, we can create products and services that enhance the lives of our customers.”
Honda Developer Studio and Honda Xcelerator, two open innovation programs established as part of Honda’s operations in Silicon Valley, will continue to serve as catalysts within the newly established Honda Innovations to discover and experiment with new technologies and business concepts.
Honda Xcelerator supports tech innovators across all funding stages who seek to transform the mobility experience in a collaborative environment. The program offers funding for rapid prototyping, a collaborative workspace, and pairing with Honda mentors. Honda Developer Studio enables developers to work directly with Honda engineers to create apps that are road-ready more quickly.
After launching in 2011, Honda Silicon Valley Lab collaborated with Apple to integrate Apple CarPlay, the smarter, safer way to use your iPhone in the car. Honda also worked with Google to integrate Android Auto, offering customers a simpler way to use Android devices in their cars. Honda later deployed both of these platforms on the 2016 Honda Accord. Since then, the Lab has collaborated with a number of innovators on a wide variety of software and hardware technologies to enhance the in-vehicle experience.