The Japanese company Honda said on Wednesday that it will be the first car manufacturer in the world to mass-produce level 3 autonomous vehicles with sensors that will allow drivers to let their vehicles navigate autonomously even in conditions of condensed traffic.
Autonomous cars can be classified on a driver independence scale from level 0 autonomy to greater autonomy. Currently, vehicles currently on the streets are classified as having level 2 autonomy. Honda promises to be the first manufacturer that will move to the next level.
“Honda intends to launch sales of a Honda Legend, a luxury sedan equipped with the newly approved autopilot” before the end of March 2021, Honda said in a press release.
The competition for autonomy is fierce
The race for the construction of cars with automatic driving is a key technological battlefield for car manufacturers. And technology companies like Google, from Alphabet Inc., are investing billions of dollars in such an area expected to boost car sales.
The Japanese government has granted a safety certification to Honda’s “Traffic Jam Pilot” autonomous driving technology, which legally allows drivers to take their eyes off the road.
“Cars are expected to play an important role in reducing traffic accidents, providing transport for the elderly and improving logistics,” said the Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism.
There are six levels of vehicle range, from 0 to 5, ranging from manual or simple-function cars, such as cruise control, to full-steering vehicles that don’t need a steering wheel, or brake pedals. and acceleration.
Level 2 cars, which are currently on public roads, can control their own speed and direction, but must have an alert driver to take control at any time.
In July, US electric vehicle maker Tesla Inc. said it was “very close” to reaching level 5 self-driving.