Honda SENSING Elite is the new technology that the Japanese manufacturer has created to raise its autonomous driving system to level 3. It is the first time it has been used in a commercial car and the company has premiered it in the Honda Legend Hybrid EX.
The automotive industry is immersed in a technological immersion process unparalleled in which the large firms in the sector are working, supported by technology companies that are providing solutions of all kinds, hardware and software. And they will end up entering the sector with their own vehicles, for example the Apple Car, a future project for which the Cupertino firm is investing a million in cash and human capital, up to 1,000 engineers led by the former head of Research and Development at Mercedes .
The autonomous car, together with electric motors (with hybrids as a transition) that must avoid the use of fossil fuels in the future and with it their enormous pollution, are the two big names in this revolution. The industry defined a scale of levels for autonomous cars, from the minimum initial assistance to level 5 where the vehicle will function completely independently and will not need any type of human intervention to operate completely safely in any condition of use.
There are dozens of research groups working on it, typical of large automobile companies and external. In addition to devices such as cameras and sensors of all kinds, a good number of software code, artificial intelligence models and machine learning applied to the motor world are necessary. And it is a great challenge because humans have a series of particular traits that a machine cannot yet understand. Many positives, but not so many others. We are simply unpredictable when we take the car and we are aggressively transformed surely by the crazy life we lead.
Honda SENSING Elite: Level 3
Great news is expected in the future future and from Honda comes a new advance. That we remember its the first time that a commercial passenger car achieves autonomous driving level 3. Basically this mode has the ability to drive in many situations without human intervention, but it needs a human being always ready to take control.
Honda SENSING Elite uses a combination of high-definition 3D maps, satellite navigation, and external sensors to create a 360-degree model of the vehicle’s surroundings. Legend Hybrid EX, the first vehicle where it has been assembled.
All that information allows the car to perform “Appropriate recognitions, predictions and decisions, and applies high-level control of acceleration, braking and steering to help the driver achieve a smooth, high-quality ride”they say from Honda. The system has main functions such as active lane change assist with hands-free function and others.
While that’s happening, Honda suggests that human drivers could “Watching TV / DVD on the navigation screen or operating the navigation system to find a destination address, helping to mitigate driver fatigue and stress while driving in traffic jams”.
All of this happens under the watchful eye of additional inward-facing cameras that check that the driver is ready to take control. If the car decides that human intervention is necessary, it will alert the driver to do so, using visual, auditory and tactile alerts that include staggered alarm sounds and seat belt vibrations. If the human does not take over the car for whatever reason, the car will automatically slow to a stop on the shoulder, while activating the horn and hazard lights.
Honda claims to have tested the car in ten million possible scenarios and has performed more than 1.3 million miles of test driving. The company He believes (we all believe) that autonomous vehicles will make the roads safer and the tests so far confirm this, although all this technology needs development, advances and surely a change in the mindset of drivers.
The Legend Hybrid EX with the Honda SENSING Elite system is only certified for operation in Japan. Although it has a marked official price ($ 102,000) it cannot be purchased since it will only be offered under lease and with 100 units available. His greatest interest lies in being the First commercial passenger car to achieve level 3 in autonomous driving.