In November last year, Honda announced that it had “received the type designation required for Level 3 automated driving” in Japan. The approval allows the company to sell cars in the country, equipped with Level 3 autonomous driving systems. It took just four months for Honda to prepare the 2021 Legend equipped with the technology for public sales.
From today, the Honda Legend EX with the so-called Honda Sensing Elite will be available for rental in Japan. The semi-autonomous driving system upgrades the existing Honda Sensing family of systems, available for the brand’s models in Europe and the United States.
The main feature of the Elite system is the Traffic Jam Pilot, which takes full control of the car when in a bumper-to-bumper traffic situation. The function is responsible for acceleration, braking and steering in congested traffic conditions, and Honda promises to deliver “a high quality and smooth ride.”
The system is based on high-definition three-dimensional maps, as well as on several external sensors detecting the 360-degree environment of the vehicle. Inside the cab, a camera monitors “driver conditions”.
The development of the bottling pilot used simulations of around 10 million models of possible real-life situations. In addition, vehicles equipped with the system were tested for a total of approximately 800,000 miles (1.3 million kilometers).
With the launch of the Legend 2021 equipped with the Honda Sensing Elite, the Japanese manufacturer becomes the first car manufacturer in the world to offer a level 3 autonomous driving system in a production vehicle. For now, the offer is only available in Japan and Honda says it only plans “limited rental sales”.