Honda plans to introduce SAE Level 4 vehicles, vehicles with highly-automated driving capability in most driving situations, by 2025. This announcement builds upon the company’s previously announced plans to have Honda and Acura vehicles equipped with Level 3 autonomy, highly-automated freeway driving capability, by 2020.
"We will strive to achieve the technological establishment of Level 4 automated driving for personal car use by around 2025," said President and CEO Takahiro Hachigo. "We are striving to provide our customers with a sense of confidence and trust by offering automated driving that will keep vehicles away from any dangerous situation and that will not make people around the vehicle feel unsafe."
The announcement was made on a closed test course in Japan during a freeway driving test-drive demonstration testing a vehicle equipped with an advanced suite of sensors, showing the capability for the company’s automated driving system utilization on a multi-lane freeway in the presence of traffic. The test vehicle utilized an advanced sensor package which included multiple cameras as well as five LiDAR and five radar sensors.
A second driving scenario, simulating a common urban driving experience, was conducted using the latest generation of Honda artificial intelligence (AI) with Deep Learning capability. Equipped with camera sensors only and no LIDAR or GPS, Honda's AI with Deep Learning is designed to sense and respond to complex driving environments and situations, such as roads without proper lane markings. The company says the system can also detect pedestrians and bicyclists at night with only partial visibility—and through the accumulation of experience, using advanced AI, the system can improve its ability to predict an outcome and take appropriate action.