Honda Debuts World’s First Level 3 Autonomous Driving Car

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Photo: Kei Higuchi / Nikkei

Last year, Honda promised to be the first to launch a Level 3 autonomous driving vehicle, and in a new update, it has kept its promise.

On Thursday, Japanese automaker unveiled the self-driving vehicle, the Honda Legend, as reported by Nikkei. The company is entering the field cautiously, and will only sell 100 copies of the car to start.

With Level 3 autonomy, drivers are allowed to stop monitoring their environment while the autonomous vehicle drives itself, unlike Level 2 which states that the driver “must remain engaged.”

However, drivers at Level 3 autonomy must still be prepared to take control of the vehicle upon being notified, just like in Level 2 autonomous cars.

Another significant factor of Level 3 autonomy is that it’s one step away from “High Automation” Level 4 autonomous driving, which does not require a driver to be present at all. Tesla, as one example, has had its Full Self-Driving (FSD) beta out for almost a year now, and it’s still only at a Level 2 autonomy.

The Honda Legend starts at 11 million yen ($102,000 USD), and will be offered with a leased version of the Level 3 autonomous driving feature.

While Honda can claim it is ‘first’ in releasing a Level 3 autonomous car for sale to the public, that doesn’t necessarily mean best. It remains to be seen what Honda plans to do by selling just 100 of these vehicles.

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