Honda Legend – first to market with Level 3 autonomous drive?
Honda just announced that the Legend sedan has acquired approval for Level 3 autonomous driving from Japan’s ministry of land, infrastructure, transport and tourism. At launch, it will be among the first, if not the first car in the world that is sanctioned for Level 3 automation on public roads.
The Legend (an Acura RLX rebadge for the JDM) will get a new function called Traffic Jam Pilot, and it’s set to be rolled out by March 2021. The exact parameters have yet to be detailed, but government rules stipulate that the system must not cause any concern that compromises the safety of occupants or other road users. It must also be used under specific driving conditions.
Other precautionary measures include the ability to monitor the driver’s condition, and if the system deems the driver unfit to reassume vehicular control, it must autonomously bring the car to a stop. Honda also has to adopt cyber security measures to prevent hackers from gaining access, and an external sticker indicating that it’s a self-driving car would have to be placed at the rear.
That’s not all. The Japanese government also made it mandatory for Level 3-enabled cars to install a data logger. Its primary function is to automatically record the total time with which the self-driving system is enabled. It can also record the time it takes for a driver to respond to a handover warning, and has enough capacity to store that data for up to six months (or 2,500 times).
Now, the technology that enables Level 3 autonomous driving has been around for a while. You might remember the Audi A8 as being the first, but it was never legally permitted for deployment. The new Mercedes-Benz S-Class also features Level 3 automation via a system called Drive Pilot. However, this is only suitable for use on small sections of German roads.
For a more detailed read on the five levels of autonomous driving, click here.
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