Self-driving Hondas: Coming to a city near you in 2025 (ideally)

Honda Civic dynamic test car

Honda Civic dynamic test car

The Japanese automaker announced its plan at a press meeting in Tokyo to discuss the future direction of Honda, including the company's various products and technologies as well as its new 2030 Vision. Level 4 automation is where the vehicle is capable of handling most driving situations itself.

These are critical steps in Honda's commitment to contribute to a collision-free society, the automaker said. Honda said it's targeting Level 4 cars - a reference to SAE International's widely adopted six-level classification (Level Zero through Level 5) of self-driving capability - by 2025.

The autonomous freeway drive system has already been tested on a closed course on a vehicle equipped with five LiDAR and five radar sensors, along with multiple cameras, simulating a multi-lane highway with traffic.

There was also a scenario that simulated a common urban driving experience, with the vehicle using the latest generation of Honda's artificial intelligence (AI) with Deep Learning capability.

Honda plans on installing its autonomous freeway drive system, which will be capable of Level 3 autonomy, in cars by 2020, meaning the automaker has five additional years to ideal Level 4 technology in its vehicles.

Honda is rapidly advancing its deployment of advanced safety and driver-assistive technologies in Honda and Acura vehicles on the road today, through its Honda Sensing and AcuraWatch suite of features, which serve as both a perceptual and technological bridge to the highly-automated vehicles the future. "We are striving to provide our customers with a sense of confidence and trust by offering automated driving that will keep vehicles away from any risky situation and that will not make people around the vehicle feel unsafe". "The system also can detect pedestrians and bicyclists at night with only partial visibility". SAE Level 4 allows a driver to completely relinquish control while inside the auto, meaning the autonomous vehicle can drive itself on highways and city roads under most conditions. Honda expects two-thirds of its auto sales will somewhat attribute electrification by 2030. Honda will also introduce this year in the US a plug-in hybrid and fully electric version to its Clarity line. Autonomous freeway driving meets SAE Level 3, enabling drivers offload driving tasks but remain prepared to take back control.

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