Move over Tesla. Honda says it will be the first car maker in the world to mass produce a level 3 autonomous car to self drive on motorways
Honda Motor Co has announced on Wednesday that it will be the world’s first car maker to mass produce a level 3 autonomous car.
It comes after Elon Musk said in July that Tesla is “very close” to achieving level 5 autonomous driving technology.
Tesla cars currently operate at a level 2 Autopilot, and can control their own speed and steering, but require the driver to remain alert and ready to act, with hands on the wheel to take control at all times.
But now Honda says that its level 3 autonomous cars will allow drivers to let their vehicles navigate congested motorway traffic.
“Honda is planning to launch sales of a Honda Legend (luxury sedan) equipped with the newly approved automated driving equipment” before the end of March 2021, Honda was quoted by Reuters as saying in a press release.
Earlier in the day, Japan’s government awarded a safety certification to Honda’s autonomous “Traffic Jam Pilot” driving technology, which legally allow drivers to take their eyes off the road.
“Self driving cars are expected to play a big role in helping reduce traffic accidents, provide transportation for the elderly and improve logistics,” Japan’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism was quoted as saying.
For those that don’t know, level 5 is the holy grail of autonomous driving technology, as level 5 vehicles will not require human intervention, and need for a human drivers is eliminated.
Indeed, it is said that level 5 cars won’t even have steering wheels or acceleration/braking pedals.
These cars will be free from geofencing, and will be able to drive anywhere, and do anything that normal car with a human driver can do.