Honda Debuts World’s First Level 3 Autonomous Driving Car
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.
Honda has said it will unveil the technology by the end of March in the flagship model Legend — the first car in the world able to operate nationwide using "level 3" autonomous driving technology.#Honda #ホンダ #自動運転https://t.co/dJJUyN01Z2
— Nikkei Asia (@NikkeiAsia) March 4, 2021
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.