The first commercial car with level 3 autonomy will be the Honda Legend. All eyes were on Tesla, but Honda was the first manufacturer to achieve Level 3 certification for autonomous driving, according to SAE standards.
The Japanese company has obtained permission from Japan to drive its new Honda Legend, which will be presented at the end of March 2021 and will come with a set of sensors that will allow it to drive autonomously.
The first commercial car with level 3 autonomy will be the Honda Legend
Honda overtakes companies such as Audi, Ford, or Tesla itself, which still legally remains at level 2 despite having the technology. This will not be the case with the new Honda Legend, since Japan has granted them the most advanced permit, being the first country to allow marketing an autonomous car of this level.
The new Honda Legend will be a luxury sedan and as the main novelty, will arrive with the “Traffic Jam Pilot” system certified for level 3 driving. A set of artificial intelligence algorithms and sensors will allow us to understand what is happening in the environment and make decisions on the fly.
The new vehicle will be able to brake, accelerate, change lanes or allow the driver to look away from the road, although this level 3 still requires the driver to be alert if necessary. It could read a book or watch a movie, although the driver must be in the seat to intervene at any time.
The truth is that these features are equivalent to Tesla’s new Autopilot, however, due to a certification issue, it is still at level 2. However, it is not ruled out that in the coming month’s Tesla will achieve a more advanced certification. Elon Musk himself assured in July 2020 that they were close to achieving level 5 autonomous driving.
The main change comes with the Japanese certification, which has been updated to encourage the development of autonomous cars. One of the new features is that autonomous cars will be required to carry a badge attached to the back of the car to warn other drivers.
Equivalent to the ‘L’ for novices, autonomous cars in Japan will incorporate a signal to alert other drivers to any strange movements.
Distinctive label to be carried by the Level 3 Honda Legend to alert that it is autonomous driving.
“We expect autonomous cars to play an important role in helping to reduce traffic accidents, provide transportation for the elderly and improve logistics,” explains Japan’s Minister of Infrastructure, Transport, and Tourism.
Following the agreement of about 60 countries, the legislation sets a maximum of 60 km/h for this level. However, the ministry explains that they are already working on including future levels and higher speeds. “We would like to talk with Honda about how to share the driving data of ‘Traffic Jam Pilot’ for further development,” explains Takashi Naono, director of transportation at the Japanese ministry.
Among the promises of the Honda Legend and its Level 3 driving is that the vehicle “will not cause any concerns that compromise the safety of occupants or other road users.” In the event of a failure to comply with autonomous driving, the car itself will send a warning alert to the driver.
The “Traffic Jam Pilot” system is not new. Models such as the Mercedes Benz S-Class also have a level 3 autonomous driving mode. However, the optional Drive Pilot system will arrive during the second half of 2021. A few months later than this Honda Legend is intended to be presented during this same month and has the advantage that Japan has been faster at the level of regulation.