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Honda to Begin Joint Research Project with Softbank in the area of Artificial Intelligence

Strengthening open innovations of AI technologies

TOKYO, Japan, July 21, 2016 – Honda R&D Co., Ltd., a wholly owned R&D subsidiary of Honda Motor Co., Ltd., today announced plans to collaborate with SoftBank Corp. (“SoftBank”) and begin a joint research project toward application of the “emotion engine,*” an artificial intelligence (AI) technology developed by cocoro SB Corp. (“cocoro SB”), a SoftBank Group company, for mobility products.

In order to further enhance open innovation in the area of intelligent technologies, Honda has been preparing to start up the Honda R&D Innovation Lab Tokyo, a new operation that will focus on research and development of intelligent technologies, in Akasaka, Tokyo, by around September of this year. This joint research project with SoftBank will be one of the open innovation initiatives Honda will pursue in the area of AI technologies.

Through this joint research project, Honda and SoftBank will strive to enable mobility products to utilize conversations with the driver, together with other information obtained from various sensors and cameras installed on the mobility product, both to perceive the emotions of the driver and to engage in dialogue with the driver based on the vehicle’s own emotions. Moreover, by letting mobility products “grow up” while sharing various experiences with their drivers, the project will strive to enable drivers to experience the feeling that their mobility product has become a good partner and thus form a stronger emotional attachment toward it.

With the target to create new relationships between people and mobility products, Honda will remain committed to the development of AI technologies.

*The “emotion engine” is a set of AI technologies developed by cocoro SB Corp., which enable machines to artificially generate their own emotions.