By 2025, Honda’s self-driving technology will allow passengers to sleep while on the move, said Honda CEO Takahiro Hachigo. The goal - ‘level four’ autonomy - is 'mind off' driving. Autonomous driving has six levels, ranging from zero to five. At level four, a driver needs to be behind the controls to the car but can choose to avoid looking at the road in certain circumstances, such as on motorways.
“We are looking to the realisation of a society where people do not get involved in accidents,” said Hachigo. “Additionally, we want to create products that enable people to enjoy the freedom of mobility and create cabin space that makes mobility fun. The goal is to be a world leader in collision-free and carbon-free technology.”
Honda’s production cars will include semi-autonomous features by 2020. The cars will utilise high-precision maps and traffic data, telecommunications units and fully integrated camera-and-radar and camera-and-lidar sensors.
By 2023, the carmaker states that systems that can handle driving in city environments would make it to production.
In order to achieve level four autonomy, Honda has set up a specialist division to study data from accidents and near-misses. This data will help them understand the human behaviour that results in 90 percent of all accidents.
Honda will also offer its Honda Sensing safety package as an option. It comes with traffic sign recognition, lane-keeping assistance, adaptive cruise control and forward and rear collision avoidance.