Honda Sensing Elite safety suite allows for actual hands-free driving in certain situations, like navigating through heavy traffic. The Legend Hybrid EX is the first car to come equipped with the new technology and is the first level 3 self-driving car in the world.
When you think of self-driving cars,
Tesla is usually what springs to everyone’s mind. Maybe we shouldn’t talk about it in front of Elon, but Honda is currently outpacing Tesla in the development of self-driving technology.
But before you head to the dealership, take note that the Legend EX is only available in Japan, and has a limited run of 100 vehicles. Its retail price is a whopping $102,000, and they are offered for lease only. That being said, there are scores of great Hondas available now that offer an industry-leading suite of driver assistance technology—but you'll have to keep your hands on the wheel for a bit longer.
The race for a truly self-driving car is an exciting one to watch, and there’s no telling where it will lead us. Come with
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Does Honda have a self-driving car?
Not just yet, but it’s currently at the head of the pack as far as developing one.
In March of 2021, the Japanese automaker made a splash in the automotive world by
announcing the debut of its Honda Sensing Elite safety system. This suite of features is Honda’s response to Tesla’s Autopilot technology and represents an exciting push forward in the quest for a truly self-driving car.
The biggest news about the Honda Sensing Elite safety system is that it is the world’s first level 3 autonomous driving tech. This means that in some scenarios, a driver would actually be able to take their
hands off of the wheel. Cool, right?
Let’s take a look at some key features of Honda’s Sensing Elite safety system:
“Hands-off” Functionality means that under certain circumstances, the system will assist with driving functions even when the driver’s hands are not on the wheel.
Adaptive in-lane driving assists and maintains your lane, speed, and following distance.
Active lane change assist with hands-off function provides variable levels of lane changing assistance.
Emergency stop assist will bring the car to a safe stop on the shoulder of the road if the driver is unresponsive to the car’s request to take control (called a handover request).
The 12.3-inch Human-Machine Interface keeps the driver well informed of all driving situations and handover requests.
One of the buzziest things about the Sensing Elite safety system is the Traffic Jam Pilot. Under certain low-speed conditions (think crawling, stop-and-go rush hour traffic) the system will take full control of acceleration, braking, and steering. The driver will need to be ready to take back control if requested to do so, but Honda says that this technology would allow a driver to take their hands off the wheel, relax, and watch TV on the screen under certain situations.
That’s right—you could safely get your binge-watch on while you’re creeping along in rush hour traffic.
Even though level 3 self-driving tech is not currently available in the US, Honda announced in early 2022 that
Honda Sensing would be standard or available on all of its new cars. The Honda Sensing suite offers an
impressive array of level 2 self-driving tech and is a part of Honda’s Safety for Everyone approach, which includes the goal of zero deaths in Honda cars by 2050.
Exciting, right? While not currently sold in the US, expect to see level 3 self-driving tech at the corner dealership in the future. And speaking of the future, word on the street is that Honda is already testing its level 4 self-driving car.
Key Takeaway As of 2022, all-new Hondas will have level 2 Honda Sensing technology standard or available.
How do self-driving cars work?
The phrase “self-driving car” often conjures up an image of pushing a button and having a vehicle merrily make its way through traffic, the occupants relaxing with feet kicked up on the dashboard, or maybe even taking a nap. In reality, it’s a bit more complicated than that.
Self-driving cars utilize a large suite of technologies, and they all work together to assess the road, monitor and assist with driving functions, and plan and recommend actions. Extensive cameras, light detecting and ranging (LiDAR) systems, adaptive algorithms, and AI technology all combine to scan and assess the environment and adapt accordingly.
The Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) has defined six levels of autonomous vehicles (AVS):
Level 0: No automation. The human driver is fully in control of all driving tasks at all times.
Level 1: Driver assistance. Driver assistance technology handles one driving task (steering, acceleration, or braking) at a time, while the human remains in control of everything else.
Level 2: Partial automation. Two or more automated functions can operate at once, but the driver must stay fully engaged. All of Honda’s new cars will have this standard or available.
Level 3: Conditional automation. The car can drive itself under certain conditions, but the driver must be ready to take back control at any moment. This is what the Legend EX has, and it’s currently the highest level available anywhere in the world.
Level 4: High automation. The car can drive itself under certain conditions without needing a person to intervene.
Level 5: Full automation. The car can drive itself under all conditions and doesn’t require human intervention.
Fully self-driving cars are still years away, so don’t toss out those driving gloves just yet. Additionally, some sources think that fully driverless cars
may not prevent all the accidents that currently occur on the roads and highways, so things are definitely still in the developmental stages.
The 10 best Hondas with self-driving technology
Honda is proudly at the forefront of self-driving car technology, with an emphasis on top-notch safety features that are accessible to all. As of 2022, all-new Hondas will have the Honda Sensing system available or standard. Here are some of the
key features of this level 2 suite of self-driving tech:
Collision-mitigation braking system
Road departure mitigation system
Even though you’ll still need to keep your eyes on the road and your hands on the wheel, Honda Sensing delivers driver assistance to rival any Tesla out there.
If you want both a Honda and the latest in driver assistance technology, you’re in luck—there are plenty to choose from!
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