Honda To Sell Limited Batch Of Level 3 Autonomous Cars: Reuters

  • Honda Motor Co Ltd (NYSE: HMC) plans to sell a limited batch of its flagship Legend sedan equipped with level 3 autonomous driving technology that allows vehicles to steer jammed highways, Reuters reports.
  • The driver can watch movies or use the navigation on the screen upon the activation of the level 3 “Traffic Jam Pilot,” which aims to alleviate stress while driving in traffic congestion. The feature can also control acceleration, braking, and steering under certain conditions. It informs the driver to respond when handing over the control via vibration on the driver’s seatbelt. 
  • The system will assist with an emergency stop by decelerating and stopping the vehicle while alerting surrounding cars with hazard lights and the horn in case of unresponsive drivers.
  • Honda intends to sell 100 vehicles with advanced technology to become the first company responsible for the bulk production of a car with level 3 technology.
  • The limited-edition Legend will be sold from Friday in Japan at a retail price of $103,000 (11 million yen). Honda has no plans to increase production or sales of a level 3-equipped Legend at present.
  • The announcement is preceded by the Japanese government’s safety certification award to Honda’s “Traffic Jam Pilot” in November.
  • International automakers and tech companies, including Google parent Alphabet Inc’s (NASDAQ: GOOG) (NASDAQ: GOOGL) Waymo, and Tesla Inc (NASDAQ: TSLA), have been investing heavily in autonomous driving.
  • However, autonomous vehicles are susceptible to regulatory norms of different countries.
  • Regulatory hurdles have prevented the wider introduction of Audi’s A8 sedan with level 3 technology in 2017.
  • Honda recently promoted its Japan R&D head Toshihiro Mibe as the CEO. It intends to electrify two-thirds of its global car sales by 2030 amidst a struggle to fund the electric and autonomous car technologies while sustaining its gas-powered car sales.
  • Price action: HMC shares are trading down 0.50% at $28.73 on the last check Thursday.
  • Image Courtesy: Wikimedia
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