How Japan’s Auto Manufacturers Are Trying to Come Up with Eco-Living Solutions for “Green” Living

On a recent trip to Japan we found it highly ironic that Honda’s Twin Motegi racetrack, where we were going to spend an entire day driving new cars turned out (we of course learned much later) to have been one of the most heavily impacted areas during the radiation leaks during Japan’s recent Tsunami and Earthquake disaster. Really, in Japan, they do appear to be pretending the whole nuclear reactor incident never happened. Whatever works to keep you sane, we suppose.

As we were eagerly awaiting our walking tour along the trails of the Honda owned natural preserve (apparently plants are great absorbers of radioactivity), the tour guide began to tell us the story of a home Honda built that will make a family totally energy independent and off-the-grid. Oh, Lord. There goes the entire state of Michigan and half of North Dakota, no doubt ready to elect a straight Palin/Ron Paul Republican ticket.

Who needs pesky Government anyways? They are always delivering my mail, paying for your dad’s Medicare and are guilty of more than one woman who has no doubt been forced to live in that rat infested, fleabag yet “oh-so-green” apartment home. It was odd to see a company known for its perfectionism, so content with leaving in the manner that would be most expedient to familial peace for all.

Now, this model home is built to scale at Honda’s Twin Motegi Race Track and while not right quite ready for a “move-in date,” it definitely has some serious potential. You’ve heard of smart phones, correct? Well, this is a “smart house” replete with the most advanced solar panels, eight power generators to build up plenty of extra energy supply in case there is an emergency, a built-in via phone emergency warning system that can even give you at least a five second warning about an earthquake and even a live-in robot that can help draw a hot bath for you as you approach home on your commute.

Honda fanatics will no doubt recognize this robot as an updated version of Asimo who has been blessed with advanced intelligence and the ability to shake a mean martini for his boss. No, we didn’t imagine that last factoid. In Japan you can still have your pet robot make you a cocktail when you are ready. In the garage is a high speed recharging overhead unit that takes just a little over 3 hours to get all of the juices flowing in a Fit Electric or Honda’s oddball single occupant transport concept that they showed off at the Tokyo Auto Show.

Even though we may one day soon have to live in a house with the sum total of its environmental decision making ruled and regulated away by Big Brother, at the very least there’s hope we might still be allowed to have fun given the fact that we could all one day come home to hot baths ready and waiting.

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