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Honda Backs New Balance-Assist Scooter

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Tokyo, Japan

A new Japanese start-up with strong backing from the Honda Motor Company has unveiled a balance-assist e-scooter scheduled for release by the end of the year.

Honda announced last week Striemo Inc. and its “one-person, three-wheeled electric micro-mobility product”, also called Striemo, had originated from the Honda New Business Creation Program, IGNITION.

A statement from Honda says the scooter “enables stable riding with less likelihood of falling through its entire speed range, from walking slowly to riding a bicycle”.

It says the scooter’s design makes it easier for users to maintain balance spontaneously, courtesy of an original balance-assist mechanism that has been developed for the scooter and is the first system to utilise humans’ natural reactions.

Striemo’s precision design has calculated the scooter’s centre of gravity to within one-tenth of a millimetre.

Striemo Inc. is the second business venture to originate from IGNITION. The first was Ashirase Inc., established last year to develop an “in-shoe navigation system which support the visually impaired with walking” and is expected to go on sale early next year.

Striemo Inc. founder and CEO Yotaro Mori said the e-scooter’s development was guided by the human studies he’d undertaken while developing motorcycles for Honda.

Honda indicated it would continue to provide support for the venture.

“Since its founding, Honda has always valued original technologies and ideas and has been pursuing various cases of open innovation to leverage such technologies and ideas to solve societal issues and create new value for its customers and society,” the statement says.

IGNITION was created to:

  • Consider business ideas from Honda employees in Japan. All full-time Honda associates eligible to submit proposals and can be provided with support and advice from a venture capital firm. Honda commits to evaluating all proposals within six months.
  • Develop ideas that pass the evaluation process, with as a start-up venture or within Honda’s operations.
  • Provide capital contributions to start-ups, capped at 20% of establishment costs to ensure the start-ups’ independence.

Streimo has invited applications for a lottery sale for Japanese buyers, for 260,000 yen (A$2,760) and plans to make the scooter available in Europe from next year.
“Beyond that, no plans have been announced for any other global markets,” Honda said in a statement.

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