Honda’s element self-driving Legend a significant step for autonomous tech

TOKYO (Reuters) – Honda Motor Co Ltd on Thursday unveiled a partially self-driving Legend sedan in Japan, becoming the world’s initial carmaker to sell a auto equipped with new, licensed amount 3 automation engineering.

The start gives Japan’s No.2 automaker bragging rights for currently being the to start with to market place, but lease profits of the level 3 flagship Legend would be limited to a batch of 100 in Japan, at a retail price tag of 11 million yen ($102,000).

Nonetheless, the new automation engineering is a large move to reducing human mistake-induced incidents, chief engineer Yoichi Sugimoto informed reporters.

The Legend’s “Targeted visitors Jam Pilot” method can command acceleration, braking and steering underneath particular conditions.

After the system is activated, a driver can also watch motion pictures or use the navigation on the display screen, aiding to mitigate tiredness and tension when driving in a site visitors jam, Honda stated in a assertion.

It can warn the driver to reply when handing around the management, this kind of as vibration on the driver’s seatbelt, the carmaker reported. And if the driver continues to be unresponsive, the method will help with an crisis cease by decelerating and halting the car though alerting encompassing autos with hazard lights and the horn, it added.

The announcement comes immediately after the Japanese govt awarded a security certification to Honda’s “Visitors Jam Pilot” in November.

World-wide automakers and tech companies, including Google parent Alphabet Inc’s Waymo and Tesla Inc, have been investing closely in autonomous driving.

Still even as the technologies advancements, restrictions on autonomous driving vary from region to place. Audi unveiled an A8 sedan with amount 3 technological know-how in 2017 but regulatory hurdles have prevented it from remaining commonly introduced.

Honda has no ideas to raise manufacturing or profits of a stage 3-geared up Legend for now, its operating officer said on Thursday.

($1 = 107.3400 yen)

(Reporting by Eimi Yamamitsu Editing by Shri Navaratnam and Emelia Sithole-Matarise)