In an effort to end traffic fatalities involving its cars, Honda announced it would create technology that would allow its level 3 self-driving capabilities to operate at any speed below the speed limit on highways by the second half of the 2020s.
In March 2021, Honda Motor Co. Ltd. became the first automaker in the world to offer a car equipped with level 3 self-driving technology.
Level 3 technology, often referred to as conditional driving automation, enables drivers to conduct certain activities behind the wheel, such as viewing movies or using cellphones, but only under specific circumstances.
On highways, Honda's level 3 "Traffic Jam Pilot" technology can activate at speeds lower than 30 km (19 miles per hour) and can continue to operate until the speed reaches 50 km per hour.
Honda engineer Mahito Shikama told reporters on Tuesday, We feel we can contribute to reducing accidents by pursuing level 3 technology, which in essence is about automobiles that do not crash. Up until Thursday, the announcement remained under embargo.
By 2050, Honda wants there to be no fatalities in traffic incidents involving its automobiles or motorbikes worldwide.
How soon Honda will begin mass-producing its level 3 autonomous vehicles was a question Shikama declined to answer. Production was restricted to 100 vehicles when the Japanese automaker introduced its Legend sedan with level 3 automation technology last year.
Mercedes-Benz, among its rivals, received clearance for its level 3 driving system late last year from Germany's KBA vehicle watchdog.
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