At the end of last year, Honda made a big commitment become the first automaker to mass-produce cars with Level 3 autonomous driving. It is now keeping that promise by selling 100 of its Legend sedans with its Sensing Elite autonomous driving features, which allow the vehicle to take the wheel for navigate congested highways, starting March 5 in Japan. But access to the latest technology won’t come cheap: the limited-edition model will cost 11 million yen ($ 103,000).
With the car in control in heavy traffic, Honda says you’ll be able to relax and watch TV or a DVD on the navigation screen, which will help alleviate the “stress” or “fatigue” that goes on. accompanies traffic jams. The so-called “level 3 traffic jam pilot” option controls acceleration, braking and steering under certain conditions.
However, since you will still need to be on hand to take over, the car can alert you to respond by vibrating the seat belt. And if you still don’t take action, the system can use a bunch of other warnings to alert you and others nearby, including alarm sounds, hazard lights, and horn, while also helping. when decelerating and stopping the car.
So that people can tell it’s an autonomous vehicle, the Legend will come with a sticker that says “automated driving” on the back to comply with government safety regulations. Honda obtained level 3 certification from the Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transportation and Tourism in November.
The move marks a major step forward for Honda’s self-driving plans and for the broader automotive industry in general, which is moving towards fully autonomous Level 5 cars. Others have seen their efforts hampered by regulations which tend to differ by country, but generally require people to concentrate on the road and keep their hands off the wheel at all times. Still, that hasn’t stopped the likes of You’re here to push its Full Self-Driving beta software to a small batch of early access testers. The system, which is regularly improved with the help of live updates, includes features such as automatic lane change and automatic park.