Under Honda’s new slogan, “Safety for Everyone,” which strives for a collision-free society, the Japanese automobile manufacturer is introducing the Honda Legend Hybrid equipped with the Honda SENSING Elite a new advanced variation of Honda SENSING with features such as Traffic Jam Pilot that allows the car to qualify for Level 3 automated driving (conditional automated driving in a limited area). This means the driver need not monitor the car full time under certain conditions but it is also imperative that the driver is available to take over the automated system when prompted.
Honda SENSING Elite
The Elite in the moniker opens up a new world of automated driving technologies which uses advanced technologies such as 3-dimensional high-definition maps and the global navigation satellite system to determine the position of the vehicle and road condition as well as the car’s surroundings in 360-degrees using various external sensors. The car also continuously monitors the condition of the driver using a camera mounted inside the vehicle and all the information goes through the Main ECU (Electronic Control Unit) which recognizes the parameters the condition of the road and takes decisions and controls the acceleration, braking and steering to assist the driver for a smooth driving.
The Hands-Off Function employs systems such as the Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) with Low-Speed Follow and Lane Keeping Assist System when driving at low-speeds on an expressway, and when activated the system will assist the driving operations even if the driver does not have his/her hands on the steering wheel. Hands-Off Driving includes – Adaptive in Lane Driving, Active Lane Change Assist with Hands-off Function and Active Lane Change with Hands-off Function where the car can automatically change lanes under safe conditions and by notifying the driver when the system detects a car in front being driven at low speed. The car then automatically comes back to the original lane after performing the manoeuvre.
Traffic Jam Pilot
When the car is in a traffic congestion, the system monitors the vehicle’s surroundings and controls the acceleration, braking and steering of the car and drives, stops, resumes maintaining the lane and distance from the other vehicles. In such a situation the driver is able to navigate the destination, use the infotainment system for entertainment or simply relax, reducing fatigue in high congested driving environments.
Emergency Stop Assist
The car is equipped with a safety function when the driver becomes unresponsive to the car’s handover requests. In such a case, the vehicle decelerates, changes lanes and stops in the outermost lane. The system also gives out visual, auditory and tactile alerts to grab the attention of the driver and in some cases uses the hazard lights and horn to alert other road users.
Availability, Price & Powertrain
The Honda Legend Hybrid EX with Honda SENSING Elite will be available only in Japan with lease only sales. The brand will produce only 100 units of the model and each one will cost JPY 11,000,000 MSRP. Powering the Legend EX is a 3.5-litre V6 direct-injection i-VTEC petrol engine with a 7-speed DCT gearbox and a Sport Hybrid SH-AWD driveline.