Honda Taps Into a New Niche, Wants to Turn Pedestrians into Clients with Two Concepts

Honda WANDER WALKER 6 photos
Photo: Honda
Honda WANDER conceptsHonda WANDER conceptsHonda WANDER conceptsHonda WANDER conceptsHonda WANDER concepts
Forget about Doc Brown and time machines, if you want to know what the future looks like, all you need is a plane ticket to Tokyo while the motor show is on there.
You can always count on the Japanese to come up with the weirdest designs and the most bizarre transportation solutions, and if that phrase sounds a bit politically incorrect, I’m sorry, it’s not supposed to. I mean, it takes a lot of imagination to think of this stuff, and imagination is something to be cherished.

Take these two concepts brought forward by Honda. They all share a common name, WANDER, but are very much different, and that part is highlighted by their second names.

The first one actually looks quite similar to a time machine - not the one in the Back to the Future franchise, though, but more like Stewie Griffin’s work. Spending too much time speaking about their designs, however, would mean missing the point, as these vehicles are meant to be practical solutions to an increasingly big problem: personal transportation inside large, crowded cities.

It’s called the WANDER STAND and, believe it or not, it is the more luxurious of the two. That’s largely due to the fact that it has a roof, and it’s not such a solitary machine as the other concept it shares its first name with, since the STAND can carry two people.

The steering wheel is replaced by a joystick and the classic dashboard by an extensive touch panel. As we’ve seen in other recent concepts (what do you know, also shown in Tokyo), the dash can sync to a smartphone, show messages and take calls.

The windshield itself is ready to offer augmented reality via a special layer that can superimpose computer-generated images, turning the whole surface into one giant head-up display.


This concept looks very much like an electric city bike, but another less flattering comparison can be made with a mobility scooter. Oh, wait, that’s exactly what this is.

Just like the STAND, the WALKER has a detailed navigation system displayed on a large screen that also offers smartphone connectivity. But that navigation will have a hard time trying to keep up with the crazy turns this scooter can make. Its front wheels can pull 90-degree turns, something that will prove very useful on a crowded street or when trying to park the thing.

It comes with simple, large, buttons for powering up, sounding the horn or turning the seat for easy access and egress. It also has an SOS button.

Even if the WALKER seems primarily destined for elderly citizens, it can still be a fun vehicle to ride, and whatever that says about me, it would still be my choice out of the two.
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About the author: Vlad Mitrache
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"Boy meets car, boy loves car, boy gets journalism degree and starts job writing and editing at a car magazine" - 5/5. (Vlad Mitrache if he was a movie)
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