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Honda goes autonomous

Published on June 30 2016

Autonomous cars are all the rave. Since Google started experimenting with the technology on the roads, there has been a technological boom.

Manufacturers have started joining in the movement, some of them joining forces, to develop their own version of the technology. Up until recently, Honda had been flying under the radar. In the fall, when the all-new generation Civic was launched, they claimed the car was as close as it gets in terms of self-driving technology.  In fact, the LX trim level is offered with both the adaptive cruise control and the lane keeping assist, the ideal combo for long highway trips. At the beginning of the month, however, the champions of safety technologies announced their own autonomous car project and unveiled their technology at the GoMentum station. 

The discourse surrounding self-driving vehicles is mitigated. The technology itself has shown promising results and has even succeeded at a series of real-world tests. The discussion now revolves around ethical aspect of this new technology. Where does the responsibility go in case of an accident? How should the car be insured? The technology itself isn’t exactly new as it has been studied for the past 30 years. We are, however closer than ever to seeing these cars on the roads, which creates a brand new category of vehicle and therefore, requires a new set of rules. For Honda, autonomous driving started with the Advanced Driving Assist System, which includes Honda Sensing Suite and a flight of driving and safety technologies.

The second step towards full autonomy is the testing of a fully loaded Acura RLX equipped with a variety of sensors, radars and cameras. Thanks to the Contra Costa Transportation Authority, the city of Concord in California and the GoMentum team, the self-driving Acura has been undergoing thorough testing at the GoMentum station, a former military base with a layout similar to that of a city spreading 30km of road and tunnels on a 20km2 area. The setup is perfect to put the self-driving sedan through its first phases of testing. Honda’s plan is to put their first autonomous cars on the roads by 2020 and to be able to offer the technology at an affordable price.

Until the first autonomous Hondas get on the road, you can enjoy the Honda safety technologies that have inspired the self-driving Acura and the future of driving. The new 2016 Honda Civic is available with the Honda Sensing Suite as well as with the full ADAS package so come and have a look at Canada’s best selling car or find out about our full lineup at Orléans Honda.

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