Honda Cleared A World First
The future is here and Automologist MAC is glad it didn’t come sooner.
Honda is officially the first company in Japan to have gained approval by the transport authorities there to sell Level 3 Autonomous cars, a leap into the future with what they claim to be the first in the world. For me, this is another step down the inevitable road where we all get shuffled around the town in some sort of pod, the sort of thought that makes me glad I am old already. But for the rest of you, this may be the exact sort of technology that will make low-emission transportation feasible.
The vehicle to be chosen to make this bold leap for all mankind will be the Honda Legend, the range-topping saloon that I don’t believe I have ever seen, and a vehicle not actually known to be ecologically friendly. The partially autonomous version is to go on sale before the end of the year and Honda is already boasting that at that time, they will have the most advanced self-driving technology that is available for purchase…so yah boo sucks to Elon Musk then, who is also trying to develop one.
The Legend……not exactly mass market though.
For those out there who do not know what this means, here is a quick bit of revision for you: Autonomous vehicles are graded Level 0 through to Level 5, whereby Level 0 is a normal car driven by the likes of you and me; and Level 5 is a vehicle which wouldn’t need a steering wheel or pedals or even a driver’s seat for that matter.
GM’s vision of the future car……
A Level 3 car then is one that can accelerate, brake, steer, and even swerve around obstructions or overtake other vehicles. There are others that have developed this – the clever Vorsprung Durch Technik folk over in Germany had one a year ago for the Audi 8L – but the technology is still stuck with the regulators, and Waymo over in Americaland claims to have one but then they don’t sell cars to the public.
So, Honda will be the first to get one out for the great unwashed public to enjoy, and this is a big achievement for the Japanese carmaker – well done, then. Except for now, the technology will only be available in their biggest salon car and in Japan, so it may be a while before the rest of us can experience this heresy and witness the positive impact it may have on the environment.
Honda is already trialling these pods.