Honda set to raise bar in autonomous race
Honda says it will be the world’s first carmaker to mass produce level three autonomous cars that will be able to navigate busy highway traffic all on their own.
The marque plans to launch sales of a Honda Legend fitted with newly approved automated driving equipment before the end of March 2021.
Japan’s government has awarded a safety certification to Honda’s autonomous “Traffic Jam Pilot” driving technology, which will be fitted in the luxury sedan and allows drivers to take their eyes off the road.
There are six levels of vehicle autonomy, from zero to five. Level two cars are currently on public roads and can control their own speed and steering, but must always have an alert driver able to take control.
Level three is the first category where most experts feel vehicles truly qualify as autonomous. However, it still requires that a driver can take over driving when the system requests, while levels four and five have no such requirement.
Carmakers are racing to build self-driving vehicles and technology companies are also investing billions of dollars into the sector, reports Reuters.
Tesla said in July 2020 it was “very close” to achieving level five autonomous driving in one of its electric vehicles.