Lately there has been a big push towards autonomous driving technology. The days when autonomous vehicles are the predominant type on the road are not very far off. While Tesla Honda’s Sensing Elite System does not yet provide any information about what driving a car might look like in the future. Earlier this month Honda Level 3 autonomous driving technology was introduced with the legendary Hybrid Hybrid EX, which will only be available in January. This makes them the first manufacturer in the world to bring a level 3 series production self-driving vehicle onto the market.
The Honda Legend Hybrid EX is limited to only 100 units, and as such, its approach and scope will be limited. However, it does provide insight into how autonomous technologies will work in the future, while also showing the advances in this area. In addition to several autonomous driver assistance functions, the Legend Hybrid EX has an active lane change with hands-off function and a traffic jam pilot, both of which were demonstrated in this video. In fact, the hands-off function is an essential feature of the Sensing Elite. It helps to steer the vehicle without input from the driver if the adaptive cruise control (ACC) and the lane departure warning system (LKAS) are activated.
The hands-off function is supported by the additional driving in the lane, which maintains the position within a lane at a preset speed. If the system detects a vehicle in front, it stays in the middle of its current lane and at the same time maintains a safe distance from the vehicle in front. The next step is when the active lane change function is activated and the hands-off function is activated. If the car pulls up on a slower vehicle, the system checks the area. When it is safe to do so, it will turn the indicator and automatically change lanes to overtake.
After the vehicle in front has been crossed, the system checks the surroundings again and switches to the non-passing lane again. The “traffic jam pilot” function is activated if the vehicle gets into a traffic jam while driving in hands-off driving mode. At less than 30 km / h, the system is automatically activated to control the acceleration, braking and steering of the vehicle in a stop-start traffic situation in the same lane while maintaining a safe distance from the vehicle in front.
As long as the “traffic jam pilot” function is activated, the driver can even leisurely watch a video on the infotainment screen. As soon as the congestion has been resolved and the road opens, the system prompts the driver to take over driving. The system then confirms the entry before returning to the ACC / LKAS mode. After a while, if it is safe to do so, the hands-off driving mode will be reactivated. It can be said that this demonstration was conducted in a controlled environment. In a more realistic situation, the system could be completely confused, much like we saw recently with Tesla’s “Full Self-Driving” feature. But we’ll find that out in good time.