Honda has always been very vocal about its efforts to eliminate traffic deaths involving Honda vehicles. While we have seen the company roll out several features and initiatives over the past few years, the Japanese car giant confirmed a key step for these efforts revealing that it is preparing a Level 3 Self-Driving system that will eventually make its way to production vehicles in the next decade.
Honda Is Building On Established Progress
Honda became the first automaker in the world to sell a production automobile with Level 3 capability in March of 2021 when it introduced the technology on the Japanese market only Legend sedan. Part of a limited production batch of Legends, the system came bundled with what it called “Traffic Jam Pilot,” which allowed the Legend to drive itself when speeds went below 19 mph on freeways before turning itself off at 50 km mph. However, it appears that Honda is now preparing to make this tech a truly global offering.
Dubbed Honda Sensing 360 (AcuraWatch for its luxury models) it’s slated to appear as an expansion of Honda’s current Honda Sensing technology, with the company slated to bring the technology to global markets in the second half of the decade. The U.S. market has stricter regulations than other countries regarding automated driving technology, and U.S. buyers will benefit from it in 2030. Driving at this level is known as “conditional driving automation,” and it would allow owners to do some activities that they usually wouldn’t be able to do behind the wheel, such as using a smartphone or even watching movies, albeit under certain conditions and parameters.
Honda Facing Potential Competiton From Rivals
It will be interesting to see if some of these things would be allowed in U.S. spec models, but Honda is promising a large amount of potential within the system when it has the opportunity to go into models all over the globe. “We believe we can help reduce accidents by pursuing Level 3 technology, which in essence, is about cars not crashing into each other” stated Honda engineer Mahito Shikama during a media event Tuesday.
Honda stopped short of revealing when it plans to produce the technology formally, but the company will be facing competition from rivals soon, with Mercedes-Benz recently receiving permission from Germany’s KBA (Federal Transit Authority) to produce its own Level 3 automated driving system. A possible recipient of the technology might be the Honda Prologue, with the all-electric model being built as part of a partnership with General Motors.
Carl Malek has been an automotive journalist for over 10 years. First starting out as a freelance photographer before making the transition to writing during college, his work has appeared on numerous automotive forums as well as websites such as Autoshopper.com.
Carl is also a big fan of British vehicles with the bulk of his devotion going to the Morgan Motor Company as well as offerings from Lotus, MG, and Caterham. When he is not writing about automobiles, Carl enjoys spending time with his family and friends in the Metro Detroit area, as well as spending time with his adorable pets.