Honda launches level-3 self-driving car

  • March 24, 2021
  • William Payne

Japanese car maker Honda has launched a limited edition of its Legend sedan equipped with level-3 SAE autonomous technology. The Japanese transport ministry said it was the first commercially available vehicle in the world with such a level of autonomy.

Honda will offer 100 vehicles for sale, with a recommended retail price of around $100,000. The cars will only be available on a three-year lease, which will include a maintenance service package as the cars require special technicians certified by the Japanese government to deal with their self-driving technology.

According to the company, there are no plans to sell any of the vehicles overseas.

The Japanese government has pushed for the development of self-driving cars. In April 2020 it became legal to drive a level-3 autonomous car in self driving mode in the country.

The company’s level-3 autonomous driving technology is called “Honda Sensing Elite”. It took a total of about 10 million pattern simulations of potential real-world situations, and a total of 1.3 million km of motorway testing.

Honda Legend’s Traffic Jam Pilot, a function of its level-3 self-driving technology, takes  control of acceleration, braking and steering when the vehicle is in congested traffic and travelling at a speed of 30 kilometres per hour or slower, allowing the driver to engage in other activities.

When the speed exceeds 50 kph, the system instructs the driver to take full control of the car, Honda said.