Acura’s RLX is dead here, but the JDM Honda version receives advanced autonomous technology



We are approaching a reality where cars can have more control over the sometimes mundane, sometimes dangerous task of moving people around. No, we’re not as close as some manufacturers believe you are to be completely self-driving, but the first company to receive official Level 3 Driver Assistance Skills Recognition (in this case from the Janese government) now has one Vehicle in service for sale: the Honda Legend Hybrid EX Honda Sensing Elite, a sedan previously sold overseas as the Acura RLX.

The most advanced driver assistance systems that we are currently familiar with are the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) denotes level 2. These settings require a driver to fully monitor the driving task and to be ready to bring the vehicle back under control if necessary. According to this definition, level 3 means that the driver does not always have to fully monitor the vehicle in certain situations, but still has to be available at all times to take control when asked to do so.

In the case of the Honda Legend, the Level 3 system is known as the Honda Sensing Elite with traffic jam pilot. The system enables driving without hands in certain precisely defined situations. Honda claims the system can be hands-free on freeways with lane keeping enabled. It supports lane changes with driver checks and can even change lanes and pass vehicles if the driver activates the “Active lane change” function. A sticker on the back of the vehicle tells other drivers that it is the Automated Drive cable.

The traffic jam pilot increases the ability of the vehicle to drive without the driver monitoring the vehicle. According to Honda, this mode allows the driver to view a program on the navigation screen or perform other infotainment-related tasks.

Ignore the prompt to regain control of the vehicle and, like many driver assistance programs, the legend will pull the hazard lights and horn to the side of the road if necessary. The legend uses lights at the top of the steering wheel, navigation screen, and glove box to indicate which mode they are in. When a handover is requested, all of these lights will flash orange to attract the driver’s attention.

Currently, the Legend is only available for rental with the Honda Sensing Elite system. At the time of this writing and at current exchange rates, the list price is $ 102,000. This is a limited production model with only 100 units being built. Therefore, it is probably best to think of this as an experiment rather than a serious attempt to sell level 3 vehicles in large numbers.

We spoke to a Honda representative in the US and, as expected, there are no immediate plans to offer such a system in our market.

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