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Honda, First To Mass Produce Level 3 Self-Driving Cars: Reuters

Honda, First To Mass Produce Level 3 Self-Driving Cars: Reuters

The Japanese government awarded Honda Motor Co Ltd (NYSE: HMC) a safety certification to the automaker’s “Traffic Jam Pilot” self-driving technology, Reuters reports.

What Happened: Honda plans to launch its luxury sedan (Honda Legend) sales with the newly approved autonomous driving technology by the end of March 2021. On Wednesday, the company said it would be the world’s first automaker to mass-produce level 3 autonomous cars allowing vehicles to navigate congested expressway traffic.

Vehicle autonomy has six levels, ranging from 0 to 5. The current level 2 autonomous driving cars on the road allow cars to control its speed and steering but with an alert driver to take control.

Level 3 vehicles can drive from point a to point b if certain conditions are met, and drivers are expected to take control of the car in case of an emergency.

Japan’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport, and Tourism said that self-driving cars would play a big role in reducing traffic accidents and improve transportation for the elderly.

Why It Matters: Autonomous vehicles are a technology battleground for automakers with investments from tech giants like Google-parent Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ: GOOG) (NASDAQ: GOOGL). 

Also, Walmart Inc (NYSE: WMT) launched a partnership with General Motors Company (NYSE: GM) to test grocery delivery via all-electric self-driving cars.

In July, the Elon-Musk led Tesla Inc (NASDAQ: TSLA) said it was “very close” to achieving level 5 autonomous driving.

Price Action: HM shares closed higher by 1.72% to $28.06 on Tuesday.

Image Courtesy: Wikimedia


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