Published: Fri, June 09, 2017
Hi-Tech | By Ellis Neal

Honda Plans Self-Driving Cars by 2025

Honda Plans Self-Driving Cars by 2025

In a statement, the company clarified that it will install its autonomous freeway drive system in vehicles by 2020, giving itself an additional five years to develop vehicles that can handle all necessary road conditions without human assistance. SAE's rating system goes up to Level 5 for full automation.

Honda Sensing was first introduced on the 2015 Honda CR-V and has since been applied to the Honda Civic, Pilot SUV, Ridgeline pickup and just-launched 2018 Odyssey minivan.

The announcement follows Honda's goal to build level 3 autonomous vehicles by 2020 which includes self-merging on motorways, changing lanes by reacting to traffic, exit slip roads and navigate traffic jams but compared to the level 4, the driver must be prepared to handle the auto within a given time when needed. They took rides in a Honda Accord equipped with the latest technology to drive through several complex driving scenarios. Deep Learning technology can sense and respond to complex driving environments without the use of Lidar or GPS, Honda said.

Achieving such capabilities will require artificial intelligence to detect traffic movements, along with a battery of cameras and sensors to help avoid accidents.

By 2030 Honda wants two-thirds of its global sales to be made up of electrified vehicles.

In the area of autonomous driving, Honda said it's aiming to roll out fully self-driving cars in 2025, or at least four years later than the planned offerings by automakers such as Nissan, Ford Motor Co. and Volvo Cars. Among many new announcements, Takahiro confirmed the brand will strengthen the development of electric vehicles and will work on autonomous technologies ready for highway use in 2020. In addition to a previously announced EV made for the China market by 2018, a dedicated EV model for other global regions is now being developed. A recent report ranking the entrants in the self-driving development space listed the Japanese company at the back of the pack at 15, well behind the rest of its more traditional peers.

Between now and then, Honda will attempt to keep development costs in line by increasing coordination between its R&D and manufacturing departments, as the company moves forward with both advanced safety systems and electrification. Some of the development projects will include what the chief officer describes as a "high-efficiency plug-in hybrid system unique to Honda".

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