It is the first car manufacturer in the world to land this sesame. The Japanese Honda announced Wednesday, November 11, that it had obtained the right to market in the country one of its advanced autonomous driving systems – level 3.
This autonomous driving system can be activated “Under certain conditions, for example when the vehicle is in a traffic jam on a motorway”Honda said in a statement. The group plans to introduce this system called “Traffic Jam Pilot” on its new Honda Legend sedan by the end of March 2021.
“This is the first time in the world that an automobile manufacturer has obtained this level 3 designation” for an autonomous driving system, said a Honda spokesperson. In a separate statement, the Japanese transport ministry confirmed that this was a world first.
An international reference grid designates levels from 0 to 5 in terms of autonomous driving. Level 3 corresponds to automation under predefined conditions.
Ultimate degree of autonomy
Perceived as the future of transport, research into autonomous vehicles is the subject of massive investment by many manufacturers around the world. Honda is particularly associated with the American General Motors in this area.
In July, Elon Musk, the boss of American electric car champion Tesla, said “Extremely confident” to have, from this year, “The basic functionalities of level 5 autonomous driving”, or the ultimate degree of autonomy.
But many regulatory and legal obstacles remain to be lifted, before seeing cars circulating commonly without a driver, underline the experts. Due to these difficulties, the German Audi, for example, this year gave up on introducing its own level 3 autonomous driving system on its A8 model.
However, road laws are starting to change in some countries to allow level 3, such as recently in Japan or South Korea.
In the midst of accelerated demographic aging, Japan particularly wants to play a “Major role” autonomous vehicles to cope with the growing problem of road accidents caused by elderly drivers, the transport ministry said in its press release.