The Honda Legend will make its way to the market with Level 3 automated driving equipment called Traffic Jam Pilot. Honda’s parent company says that the car will be launched before the end of the current fiscal year (March 31, 2021). The Legend is the automaker’s flagship model overseas.
There are six levels of autonomous driving according to the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE). The base Level 0 technology provides warnings and momentary assistance like automatic emergency braking, blind spot warning, and lane departure warning. Levels 3, 4, and 5 offer advanced levels of autonomy that don’t require the driver to be driving all the time. This level requires drivers to drive when a Level 3 features requests it of them.
Vehicles equipped with the technology in Japan will be required to display this logo as a sticker on the vehicle so other drivers are aware of its capability.Photo courtesy of Honda Motor Co., Ltd.
SAE says that traffic jam chauffeur is an example of Level 3 technology. This conditional automated driving function performs longitudinal and lateral driving tasks. A driver doesn’t need to monitor the technology at all times.
According to the Pegasus project, a cooperative working to establish the standards of autonomous driving, a Level 3 system, “recognizes its limits but is not able to establish a risk-minimal state from every initial situation. Thus, the system requests the driver to take back the driving task with an sufficient time margin. The automated vehicle handles emergency situations successfully if a human driver could handle the situation.
A press release from the company says that it has received approval from Japan’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport, and Tourism to mass-produce Level 3 vehicles.
The next-generation Legend is expected to be launched alongside the technology in the spring.
Honda, the world’s sixth-largest automaker, is already looking forward to Level 4 self-driving technology. The company previous revealed that it is targeting 2025 to launch Level 4 capable self-driving cars.
Many automakers are not working on Level 3 technology, instead choosing to skip from Level 2 to Level 4. There are currently no self-driving vehicles for sale in the U.S. despite the claims some automakers may make.