Honda is the latest automaker to confirm plans for an autonomous production car. It hopes to have cars that can drive themselves nearly all of the time in production by 2025, Honda CEO Takahiro Hachigo said during a media event in Japan.
Specifically, Honda is aiming for Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) Level 4 autonomy. The SAE defines autonomous driving in six levels, from Level 0 to Level 5. Level 4 allows for autonomous driving most of the time, but with exceptions or situations like bad weather, where a human driver may be asked to retake control. Honda previously said it would achieve Level 3 autonomy by 2020.
Honda’s autonomous-car development efforts aren’t as extensive as those of other automakers, but it is making progress. In the United States, the company is testing cars at GoMentum Station, a dedicated testing facility for self-driving cars on the grounds of the former Concord Naval Weapons Station in the San Francisco Bay Area. At the event announcing its Level 4 autonomy plans, Honda demonstrated a self-driving car in simulated traffic at its Japanese R&D facility.
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