Honda wants to significantly expand its own assistance systems in cars globally from 2024 and also make Level 3 functions available that enable permanent driving without hands on the steering wheel on motorways. Fatal accidents involving vehicles and motorcycles from the Japanese brand are to be halved by 2030.
At Honda, the assistance systems run under the names Sensing, Sensing 360 and Sensing Elite, depending on the level of expansion. Today's concrete announcements relate to Sensing 360 and Sensing Elite, which are to receive certain enhancements from 2024 that will also enable level 3 driving. However, the basic sensing package is also to be expanded for vehicles for the mass market and especially in emerging countries, so that all models are equipped with it as standard and should also be able to detect motorcycles by 2030.
Sensing 360 receives level 3 functions
The Sensing 360 package will initially offer an extended range of functions in China from 2024, but will be offered globally over time. Honda explicitly speaks of Level 3 driving functions, which, depending on the operational design domain, enable hands-free driving with a legal sideline. With the Drive Pilot (test), Mercedes-Benz is the first provider of such an assistance system in Germany, which can only be activated on motorways and only in traffic jams up to 60 km/h.
In the coming years, the package of various assistance systems will be expanded to include driving in your own lane without hands on the steering wheel, automated lane changes without hands on the steering wheel, various support systems, for example in the event of medical emergencies for the driver, an exit warning for bicycles and other road users when the door is opened of the doors as well as supporting functions for avoidance and the general prevention of accidents.
Level 3 driving on highways is designed to recognize curves and adjust speed accordingly. When there are no other road users in the immediate vicinity, the speed set by the driver is maintained, and an appropriate safety distance is maintained when vehicles are in the same lane. If safely possible, the system can carry out an automated overtaking maneuver. Visual and acoustic signals are also provided for Honda, which signal to the driver that the assistance system is available or that takeover is required.
Sensing Elite with Automated Valet Parking
From the mid-2020s, Sensing Elite will go one step further than Sensing 360 in certain areas in terms of functionality. Initially, the assistance systems Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) and Lane Keeping Assist System (LKAS) will no longer only be made accessible on the freeway. The systems should also be able to be used on access roads and arterial roads, and driving on and off the motorway should also be actively supported.
Honda already offers one with Sensing Elite automated parking function intended for garages and other defined parking spaces of the owner. In the future, however, Honda also wants to offer automated valet parking, where the vehicle can be parked in the entrance area of a multi-storey car park, handed over to its intelligent sensors and then drive to the parking space independently. Mercedes-Benz and Bosch recently received approval for series operation at Stuttgart Airport for such a system from the Federal Motor Transport Authority.