Honda Unveils Next-Gen Driver Assistance Tech, Will Embrace Hands-Free Driving


When you think of advanced driver assistance systems and semi-autonomous driving technology, which automaker comes to mind? Probably not Honda, but the company is looking to change that by announcing new features for their Sensing 360 and Sensing Elite technology suites.

Honda Sensing 360 is the mid-level suite of driver assistance systems and it will become standard equipment on all models sold in the United States by 2030.

The Honda Sensing 360 suite will feature a Super Cruise-like semi-autonomous driving system known as Advanced In-Lane Driving with Hands-off Function. While the name leaves a lot to be desired, the system will keep the vehicle centered in its lane while also controlling acceleration, braking, and steering. The system also has an Advanced Lane Change with Hands-off Function, which enables drivers to automatically change lanes when the semi-autonomous driving system is activated.

Also: Honda Legend Launches With Level 3 Self-Driving Tech In Japan

Putting hands-free driving aside, Honda’s Driver Emergency Support System aims to assist drivers who become incapacitated. It uses a camera to monitor the driver and see if their eyes are open and if their head is up.

If the driver becomes incapacitated, the system will keep the car centered in its lane while also giving audible and visible alerts to get the driver’s attention. If the driver fails to respond, the alerts will get louder and the accelerator will be disabled to prevent sudden, unintentional acceleration if the driver responds in a panic. If that doesn’t get the driver’s attention, the car’s horn and hazard lights will be activated as the vehicle slowly comes to a stop. The system can also call emergency responders as the incapacitated driver could be suffering a medical emergency such as a heart attack or stroke.

Sticking with the safety theme, there’s Exit Warning which detects vehicles and bicyclists approaching from the rear when the vehicle is parked. An indicator illuminates to warn occupants and, if they accidently open the door, the indicator flashes and an audible alarm will sound.

Emergency Steering Support

The suite also has Driver Attention Warning and Collision Warning functions as well as In-Lane Collision Avoidance Assist Technology, which will slow the vehicle and drive it to the outside edge of the current lane to avoid pedestrians, bicyclists or parked vehicles. The suite also includes Emergency Steering Support, which reduces the vehicle’s speed and assists with emergency steering maneuvers.

The next-generation Honda Sensing Elite suite is a technology flagship that features artificial intelligence, which “grows while accumulating experiences much like [a] human.” This promises to enable the suite to “increase its capability to recognize complex situations and handle more complex driving environments such as on non-expressways.”

That’s pretty vague, but the Sensing Elite suite aims to allow for hands-free driving when merging onto or exiting a highway. Drivers can also expect hands-free operation during traffic jams on arterial roads.

The next Honda Sensing Elite suite also promises to build on its existing parking capabilities with an “automated valet parking” function which will enable owners to hail their vehicle, so it will come to them.

These advanced Honda Sensing Elite features are slated to begin rolling out in the middle of the decade, which is slightly after the new Sensing 360 functions start arriving in 2024.

While the company is a little late introducing some of these features, they’re aiming to halve global traffic collision fatalities involving Honda automobiles and motorcycles by 2030. 20 years later, the company aims to eliminate traffic fatalities involving their vehicles altogether.

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