Honda’s quirky electric UNI-ONE is coming to US malls and retail spaces


Honda’s quirky electric UNI-ONE is coming to US malls and retail spaces

Imagine ripping through the mall, racing your friends in an electric wheelchair wearing a VR headset in a new racing experience. Honda looks to make this a reality with its new electric UNI-ONE, a first-of-its-kind extended reality (XR) experience.

Honda’s electric UNI-ONE is coming to a mall near you

Honda will officially unveil the UNI-ONE at South by Southwest (SXSW), starting March 8. The company calls it a “first-of-its-kind” extended reality (XR), merging mobility with virtual reality (VR) adventures.

The new Honda XR Mobility Experience fuses digital environments with real-world experiences using the electric UNI-ONE.

Honda’s UNI-ONE is a hands-free, personal mobility device. With self-balancing tech and sensors, you can move in any direction by shifting your body.

The personal EV has a seat that can be lowered or raised. At its highest setting, you can sit at eye level with someone standing. The lower settings can be used for racing games or other XR uses.

First introduced in 2013, the electric UNI-ONE is an evolution of Honda’s UNI-CUB β device. The device features two Honda Omni Traction (HOT) Drive Systems, one on each side, allowing you to move in any direction.

Honda electric UNI-ONE hands-free mobility device (Source: Honda)

Honda says the UNI-ONE can predict which way you want to move based on your posture. The device includes a stabilization function so you don’t go too fast (or too slow).

The company has already begun testing the UNI-ONE at malls and parks in Japan. Honda also allows you to test the device with AR at the Suzuka Circuit Park.

With a VR headset, you can experience “the peaceful floating in the sky or the exhilarating feeling of gliding along a half-pipe path,” according to Honda.

Honda electric UNI-ONE with VR (Source: Honda/ Youtube)

Honda says it’s working toward commercialization in the US. The company sees the technology rolling out in indoor and outdoor spaces. This includes theme parks, entertainment centers, shopping malls, and other retail spaces.

The company envisions the UNI-ONE as a new entertainment option with XR games like racing, where players race along certain routes.

Honda Uni-One specs
Dimensions (length x width x height) 30.3 × 26.8 × 30.3 inches (lowered)
25.6 × 22.8 × 36.2 inches (raised)
Seat Height 21.7 inches (lowered)
27.6 inches (raised)
Weight Approx. 154 pounds
Riding Capacity 1 person
Maximum User Weight 242 pounds
Maximum Speed 3.7 miles per hour
Range 5 miles (at 2.5 miles per hour)
Battery Lithium-ion battery (replaceable)
Drive Wheels Honda Omni Traction Drive System (HOT Drive) – 2 wheels *When UNI-ONE is in the low position, HOT Drive wheels and four auxiliary wheels are on the ground. 
Honda electric UNI-ONE specs (Source: Honda)

Powered by a lithium-ion battery, the device can travel up to five miles. However, a replaceable battery opens up the possibility of a “swap” option.

What are your thoughts on the UNI-ONE? Would you give it a try at your local mall? Let us know what you think in the comments.

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