Honda recently featured Drivemode at their grand opening event for their brand new Silicon Valley R&D center in Mountain View, CA. This event is the latest in a movement of automakers focused on bringing innovative technology into their cars by partnering with the tech community.
The collaboration that we were a part of explored the concept of “what if we built a car with the smartphone as its brain?”. Instead of needing to buy a new car to get the most up-to-date software in it, you could run everything through your phone using Drivemode and easily access the newest technology through the phone.
Honda built a concept car with a phone dock on the dashboard, and hooked it up to Drivemode so drivers could control core functions like calling, messaging, music, and navigation through buttons on the steering wheel. It even linked to backup and blind spot cameras so when you put your car in reverse or turn your blinkers on, the camera displays on your smartphone screen through the Drivemode interface.
It was exciting to peer into the future to see what Drivemode can become. Currently the Drivemode app exists as an app for your phone and fully compatible cars like this one are not yet available, but we’ve designed it to be automotive grade with plans to make the latest safety technology more modular and accessible to everyone, no matter what the make or model of your car is.
The most common feedback from people who experienced the demo was, “All I need is my phone anyway, and this makes a lot of sense”
There will always be a market for people who opt for high end systems like Apple Carplay or Android Auto in new cars, but for the rest of us? The smartphone does everything we need, and we just need a solution to use it safely in the car.
While we were there, we also had fun checking out other things that Honda had cooking! One of the highlights for me was getting to play around on the Uni Cub:
Drivemode can be downloaded onto your phone and used in any car, it is Android-first and available on the Google Play Store.