Not to take away Japan’s achievements with regular automobiles, but the bizarre sub-automotive machines are our favorite things to see at the biennial Tokyo auto show. With this year’s Tokyo event less than a month away, we’re getting an early look at two such oddities Honda plans to debut there. No stranger to, uh, the strange, Honda is following up side projects such as Asimo the soccer-playing robot, the Uni-Cub, and others with the WanderStand and the WanderWalker. Both are concepts, and they’re sort of like cars in that they have wheels and Honda badges.
It has come to our wanderstanding—sorry, we couldn’t help ourselves—that the Wanderstand is a bit of a misnomer. Despite looking like some sort of mobile photo booth, occupants do not, in fact, stand up whilst it whirrs them about. Instead, there’s room for what appears to be two seated passengers in a tall box perched atop four faired-in wheels. The identical nature of the wheels could indicate four-wheel steering capability not unlike that of another bizarre Tokyo auto show concept from a few years ago, Nissan’s Pivo 3 (be sure to check out Pivos 1 and 2), but we’re just spitballing here. Beyond what we can see, Honda isn’t saying much about the WanderStand other than it “was designed to pursue the joy and freedom of mobility under the concept of the ‘WANDER = wander around freely.’ ”
Honda WanderWalker concept
Again, Honda, the name “WanderWalker” makes no sense, especially when the vehicle it applies to isn’t, say, a directionless walker for the elderly and doesn’t actually involve walking at all. Come to think of it, that name—or at least the concept of a wayward self-propelled walker—doesn’t really make sense in any context. But enough about the name, what exactly is the WanderWalker? By our assessment, it’s the world’s fanciest mobility scooter, with a tablet-like gauge cluster, sleek body panels, and what appear to be a set of sweet tweels (airless tires and wheels in one). Again, no details surrounding the WanderWalker were given, but Honda says it “was designed to to freely maneuver among pedestrians.” Given how shackled the movements of regular mobility scooters are, this is good news.