The company plans to address changing market trends using the formula "AI x Data x Honda's strengths."

Honda has outlined plans to launch a new research and development operation known as "R&D Center X."

The unit will be responsible for exploring emerging technologies, such as robotics technology and energy management, along with potential new business models to complement Honda's traditional breadth of products.

Reflecting the growing importance of 'big data' and artificial intelligence across many industries, Honda has explained its initiative using the simple formula "AI x Data x Honda's strengths." One specific goal is to create products and services using AI that interacts effectively with humans.

"Being able to 'work cooperatively with people' consists of three phases - 1) to understand and relate to people's emotions, 2) to provide support for people and grow together with people, and 3) to expand the potential of people who will continue to play the lead role," the company said in a statement.

Honda's new Innovation Lab Tokyo will serve as the liaison with outside parties. The company has also brought in two outside advisers, Stanford computer science professor emeritus Dr. Edward A. Feigenbaum and Industrial Growth Platform managing partner Kazuhiko Toyama.

More details will likely be announced when R&D Center X is formally established in April.