Text: Anton Andres / Photos: Honda | posted June 06, 2016 16:05
Automaker aims the year 2020 for self-driving cars
Honda joins Ford as a major manufacturer investing heavily in autonomous driving. The Japanese automaker is currently testing self-driving tech in their new GoMentum Station, a decomissioned Navy base that Honda converted into a testing facility.
A group of Honda Legends (known as the Acura RLX in North America) are currently being used as test beds for Honda's interpretation of autonomous driving. These cars are equipped with large roof mounted devices that house all the necessary sensors needed for the new technology. These Legends are then monitored around the facility which is 850 hectares big and includes over 30 kilometers of road and a simulated cityscape.
"2020 is a key target, the year when we expect to put autonomous driving technology into practical use on highways. The idea is to bring these technologies to customers at a reasonable price," said Jim Keller, chief engineer for autonomous vehicles at Honda R&D Americas.
As it stands, the Honda Legend is already equipped with semi-autonomous driving technologies with Honda SENSING and its adaptive cruise control. With this testing, Honda aims to go fully autonomous and, at the same time, drive the price down so that self-driving cars will soon make an appearance in more mainstream products. Competitors Nissan and Toyota have also aimed for the year 2020 to introduce autonomous driving in practical uses with their respective lineups.