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Design Philosophy of Honda WANDER WALKER CONCEPT

Article of Honda R&D Technical Review Vol.29 No.1

Summary

Advanced nations are undergoing a major shift in direction from “car-centered” to “human-centered” urban design. Essential functions are being concentrated and city centers are becoming more compact, while initiatives to provide and expand pedestrian areas are intensifying. As we welcome an era in which the number of elderly citizens and others experiencing restricted mobility will increase and populations will undergo further urban concentration, expectations are increasing for new personal mobility aids that will supplement cars and public transport.
The Honda WANDER WALKER CONCEPT was developed to offer an “urban micro-mover” that would encourage all users to leave their homes and become mobile. Seeking a package design that would contribute to reducing infrastructural barriers, the development team achieved a size that would make it easy for users to access urban infrastructure. The WANDER WALKER CONCEPT is 540 mm wide with a minimum turning radius of 1,000 mm, making it capable of turning in its place. Twin-lever steering has been employed to ensure intuitive operation that is easily understood by all users.
In order to reduce psychological barriers to leaving the home, the WANDER WALKER CONCEPT is provided with an information and communications platform including a “Safety Watch” application, and an electrically operated seat with a “Welcome Mode.” Under the concept of “Urban Construction Style,” through the use of a simple twin-frame structure the styling design of the vehicle achieved a stylish yet unselfconscious design that would fit into the urban environment. The use of a frame structure also made it possible to provide a freely usable cargo space in the interior of the unit.

Reference

(1) Choki tenbo iinkai, Kokudo shingi kai seisaku bukai, MLITT: Kokudo no choki tenbo Chukan torimatome Gaiyo, p. 7, (2011) (in Japanese)
(2) http://www.its-jp.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/ITS-future-vision_j_140130.pdf (in Japanese)
(3) Yaguchi, T., Harada, K.: Project for Locally Rooted Design Development in Field Tests of Next-Generation Personal Mobility, Honda R&D Technical Review, Vol. 26, No. 2, p. 207-213
(4) Yaguchi, T., Masubuchi, Y., Yamamura, M., Nakamoto, G., Kawashima, H.: Actual Proof Experiment of Electric Wheelchair “Monpal” for Enhancing Elderly QOL, Honda R&D Technical Review, Vol. 27, No. 1, p.77-84
(5) Tajima, T.: Development of the Next-generation Steering System Based on Biomechanical Control, IEEJ, Vol. 132, No. 9, p. 622-625 (2012) (in Japanese)
(6) http://www.mlit.go.jp/report/press/sogo09_hh_000129.html

Author (organization or company)

Tadahiro YAGUCHI(Automobile R&D Center)、Kanna GOTO(Automobile R&D Center)、Mitsuhiro ABE(Automobile R&D Center)、Takahiko TORII(Automobile R&D Center)、Asagi MIWA(Automobile R&D Center)

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