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Honda autonomous car tech to hit ‘Level 4’ by 2025

Honda aims to sell Level 4 autonomous cars by 2025, just one step from full self-driving

Honda is aiming to launch Level 4 autonomous driving technologies in its cars by 2025, the Japanese brand has announced. 

Level 4 autonomy is one step away from a fully functioning self-driving vehicle, and will enable a car to operate steering, throttle and brakes independently without any reliance on direct input from a driver on certain sections of road. 

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Honda President & CEO Takahiro Hachigo, told Auto Express: “We will strive to achieve the technological establishment of Level 4 automated driving for personal car use by around 2025”.

The announcement follows Honda’s intention to launch automated highway driving, Level 3 autonomy, by 2020. Functions these vehicles will be capable of include autonomously merging onto motorways, lane changing by reacting to traffic, exit slip roads and negotiate traffic jams. However, unlike Level 4 autonomy, the driver must be ready to intervene to help the vehicle within a limited time, if called upon.    

Honda has developed several Level 3 autonomy equipped prototype vehicles which it allowed journalists to experience at it’s R&D facility in Tochigi, Japan. Fitted in Honda Accord and Legacy saloons, the hardware comprised two main cameras, a driver monitor camera, 10 camera-and-radar sensors and a range of camera-and-LiDAR sensors.

A better understanding of and more reliance on Artificial Intelligence (AI) is necessary before Honda ramps up to Level 4 autonomy. AI will be able to predict the movements of other road users and pedestrians to allow an autonomous vehicle to make more informed and reliable decisions on the road. The Japanese brand has recently established a new AI R&D department to help accelerate bringing the technology to market.  

When will we see the first fully autonomous vehicle on the road? Join the debate in the comments section below…

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