Honda R&D, Honda Motor's research and development subsidiary announced it had begun to collaborate with the Center for Information and Neural Networks (CiNet) in neuroscientific research of humans in the areas of mobility and robotics.

CiNet is a research institute that focuses on the brain and artificial intelligence within the National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT).

Honda said it had always developed better products and technology based on a belief "the purpose of technology is to help people".

"The business environment surrounding Honda has been experiencing drastic changes such as the advancement of automated driving technologies and the shift toward 'mobility/robotics-as-a-service'," the automaker said in a statement.

"As a result, the study of humans has become more important than ever before."

Last 1 April, Honda established its Innovative Research Excellence within Honda R&D, a new "centre of excellence which will be responsible for the pursuit of revolutionary advancement and the creation of values for mobility and people's daily lives".

The new organisation will play a central role within Honda to pursue joint research with CiNet on the relationships between humans and both mobility and robotics.

The partners will apply neuroscience to make clear how a driver can experience a sense of unity with the vehicle and what would be the optimal human-machine interface.

"Through such research, Honda and CiNet will strive to establish standards for the development of safer and more comfortable mobility and robotics technologies which offer peace of mind to the users," the partners said.

CiNet is based in Suita, Osaka, Japan and is part of both the National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT) and Osaka University.

As well as conducting fundamental research on the functions of the brain, CiNet conducts applied research in interdisciplinary fields where various areas of study such as information-communication technology, brain-machine interface, measuring of brain functions and robotics have reciprocal relationships.

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