Honda will be the first to start selling a robo-car that drives itself in traffic jams and allows you to take your hands off the wheel


Last updated on December 8th, 2022 at 02:51 pm

Honda will be the first to start selling a robo-car that drives itself in traffic jams and allows you to take your hands off the wheel

Prototypes of cars that do not require driver intervention are already actively tested in the United States and other countries. However, at this stage, the automatics are still insured by the tester. Honda also decided to bring the first production car to Japan’s roads, which officially meets the criteria for autonomous control of the third level.

Honda legend
Honda legend

In many respects, this was facilitated by the Japanese authorities’ adoption of changes in legislation, which make it possible to relieve the driver of responsibility for the consequences of an incident that occurred when the forces of automatic systems controlled the car. Local laws also allowed the operation of cars with a level of autonomy of the third level on public roads to limit the maximum speed in this mode at 60 km / h.

In preparing the new Legend flagship sedan for the new model year, Honda has chosen to limit its ability to automatically travel on city streets only at speeds of no more than 50 km / h. In fact, Japanese engineers have implemented a set of sensors and control software, allowing the driver not to drive a vehicle when moving in a dense stream of cars at speeds up to 50 km / h. The result is a kind of “plug autopilot,” which was named Traffic Jam Pilot.

Another feature of the driver assistance system in the Honda Legend will be removing your hands from the steering wheel while driving. True, for this, adaptive cruise control (Adaptive Cruise Control, ACC) with functions of movement at low speed (Low-Speed ​​Follow) and keeping of lane (Lane Keeping Assist System, LKAS) must be enabled. At the same time, without hands, the car will be able to drive along a given lane and rebuild.

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It is claimed that this is the first time a mass-produced car has entered the market with a certificate of compliance with the third level of autonomy according to the SAE classification. There are six such levels in total, including zero, at which no control automation is provided. The third level of autonomy gives the driver a little more time to intervene in the control in a predicted critical situation.

The new Honda Legend will be offered at $ 102,000. It will be produced in a batch of no more than one hundred copies, all of which will be leased to customers in Japan, which will allow Honda specialists to accumulate information on the behavior of automation in various situations. Prospective owners will have to undergo detailed instructions on the specifics of handling driver assistance systems.

During the control system development, Honda specialists simulated about 10 million possible situations and conducted tests on public roads with a mileage of about 1.3 million km. The car already has familiar second-level assistants, and it can keep itself within the lane and automatically rebuild and stop urgently in front of an obstacle. If there is no driver’s reaction, the car will stop by itself in the selected safe place.

Mercedes-Benz is set to launch its first level 3 vehicle before the end of this year. Japanese analysts believe that these systems will become widespread no earlier than 2030, and by 2045 at least 43 million cars with the third level of autonomy will be traveling on the roads of the planet. So far, the progress in autonomy provided by the transition from the second level to the third is not great enough to justify the significant increase in associated equipment costs. In the current decade, the second level of autonomy will dominate.

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