Honda is set to launch its self-driving car in Japan next year that will take over the wheel allowing drivers to watch a movie or take phone calls – but it comes with a $91,000 price tag
- Honda will launch a self-driving Legend sedan with Level-3 autonomy system
- This technology will let the car pilot itself for extended periods of time
- The car will launch sometime during summer 2020 in Japan for $91,000
Honda is set to launch a partial self-driving car during in Japan the summer next year.
Its Legend sedan will boast a Level-3 autonomy system, which enables the vehicle to pilot itself for extended periods.
According to a report, the car will retail for 10 million yen, roughly $91,000, compared to 7.2 million yen for the current standard model.
The news was first shared by Nikkei Asian, which discovered Hondo will incorporated the partial self-driving technology into the Legend, Honda’s flagship luxury sedan.
Because it will be fitted with the technology, the car will be 40 percent more expensive than the standard model.
With Level-3 autonomy, drivers will be able to take their attention off the road for a period of time to use their smartphone or watch television.
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Its Legend sedan (pictured is a 2018 model) will boast a Level-3 autonomy system, which enables the vehicle to pilot itself for extended periods. According to a report, the car will retail for 10 million yen, roughly $91,000, compared to 7.2 million yen for the current standard model
It may not be a surprise that Honda is hitting the Japanese market first, as the country passed legislation in September to allow Level-3 self-driving cars on the road.
The new laws will go into effect next spring and Japan hopes to commercialize Level-3 technology next year, as reported by Japan Times.
However, there are a few rules that drivers and carmakers will have to comply with in order to use the technology on the roads.
All vehicles with any type of self-driving abilities will be required to have travel data recorders for analysis of traffic accidents.
Automakers will also be required to obtain government approval for the specific operation conditions of their self-driving vehicles.
WHAT ARE THE SIX LEVELS OF SELF-DRIVING AUTOMATION?
Level Zero – The full-time performance by the human driver of all aspects of the dynamic driving task, even when enhanced by warning or intervention systems.
Level One – A small amount of control is accomplished by the system such as adaptive braking if a car gets too close.
Level Two – The system can control the speed and direction of the car allowing the driver to take their hands off temporarily, but they have to monitor the road at all times and be ready to take over.
Level Three – The driver does not have to monitor the system at all times in some specific cases like on high ways but must be ready to resume control if the system requests.
Level Four – The system can cope will all situations automatically within defined use but it may not be able to cope will all weather or road conditions. System will rely on high definition mapping.
Level Five – Full automation. System can cope with all weather, traffic and lighting conditions. It can go anywhere, at any time in any conditions.
Tesla’s Model 3 Sedan – one of the world’s most advanced road-legal cars with autonomous elements – currently operates at Level Two autonomy. It is equipped for Level Three autonomy, which may be introduced in a future software update
The $91,000 price tag may be too much for most people, but a college student has created his own self-driving Honda civic for a fraction of the cost.
In 2017, Brevan Jorgenson unveiled a device that replaces the rear-view mirror, which controls the brakes, accelerator and steering – and it only cost $700 to build.
The DIY device uses the hardware design and software shared online by Comma.ai last year, which had originally planned to upgrade cars with the technology.
Many technology and automobile firms are already testing modified cars on the road – and have been for years, reports MIT Review.
But Jorgenson’s 2016 Honda Civic is considered part of the ‘grassroots test fleet’ that MIT Review says is ‘taking shape as tinkerers around the world strive to upgrade their own vehicles with computing gear that can share driving duties’.
‘I wanted to make my car a level two self driving car for a couple of reasons,’ Jorgenson, who is a senior at the University of Nebraska, told DailyMail.com.
‘First, I have a girlfriend that lives in Denver and I make the drive between between Omaha and Denver enough that I thought I could put the Comma Neo to good use.’
‘The second main reason I wanted to upgrade my car was because I am a strong believer that self driving cars are the future and I wanted to be a part of making that a reality.’
The $91,000 price tag may be too much for most people, but a college student has created his own self-driving Honda civic for a fraction of the cost. In 2017, Brevan Jorgenson unveiled a device that replaces the rear-view mirror, which controls the brakes, accelerator and steering – and it only cost $700 to build
‘I want to help elevate fears that many people have around a subject so polarizing as self driving cars, so I will frequently offer to let friends ride in or even test drive my car to see how well it works.
Jorgenson started this project after hearing about George Hotz’s idea, the founder of Comma.ai, who was set to release a $999 device that would upgrade vehicles to steer themselves on the highway and follow stop-and-go traffic.
Hotz, who resides in New Jersey, was the first person to hack Apple’s iPhone and claimed he could create a self-driving car in just one month that would be far superior to the MobilEye system used in the Tesla Model S autonomous car, he revealed in December 2015.
Hotz had planned to sell the technology on Amazon, but less than a year later, he hit a roadblock.
In a letter and order in October 2016, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) demanded that Comma.ai provide proof to regulators that its proposed device for self-driving cars would be safe, or risk having its sale blocked.
NHTSA administrator Mark Rosekind has said he wants to encourage innovation in autonomous driving because cars that avoid human mistakes could prevent thousands of deaths each year.
The DIY device Jorgenson placed in his Honda Civic (pictured) was inspired by the San Francisco startup, Comma.ai, which that had plans to upgrade any vehicle with self-driving technology
A month after receiving the warning, Comma.ia announced on its website that it had open sourced the software code and robotics research platform for the driver-assistance system the company had planned to start selling at the end of the year.
Jorgenson decided to order the parts needed to build Comma’s device, which is called Neo, the same day Hotz released the plans online.
The Neo device consists of an OnePlus 3 smartphone designed with Comma’s Openpilot software, which is now available for free.
The software is a circuit board that links the device to the car’s electronics and sits in a 3D printed case.
‘I tried to solder the board myself and was not having a great time at it so I ordered it pre-soldered, which took about a month’, said Jorgenson.
‘I bought the phone that is ‘the brains of the Neo’ (a OnePlus 3) from Amazon with Prime and stopped up at Walmart to get a cheap unlimited data plan for it.
‘I ordered the 3d printed housing for the Neo but in hindsight I wish I would have printed it with the 3d printer at work.
‘And then there is a small order of screws and parts that takes about a week to get in the mail.
‘Once you have all of the pieces you can build it in a day pretty easy.’
And he said the project took about an entire weekend to finish.
‘I spent a weekend doing it because I never flashed a new operating system to an Android before so that was a learning curve,’ said Jorgenson.
It took Jorgenson about a full weekend to put the device (pictured) together, which he said was a simple task to complete after receiving all of the parts
Once the technology was finished, Jorgenson took it for a test in late January – which he said was a success. Now that it is fully working, it is being compared to Tesla’s Auto Pilot
‘After all the parts are in and the phone is flashed all you do is plug in the phone to the board (this allows the phone to talk to the car) and then pop off the housing that is above the rear view mirror in the car and there is a cable there you just plug into the 2nd port on the board. It is really simple.’
Once the technology was finished, Jorgenson took it for a test in late January.
‘The system is much more safe then anyone would probably initially give it credit for,’ he said.
‘I am not adding any permanent changes to my car so the Neo is basically stuck having to follow the rules Honda already built into the car.’
‘The car cannot steer below 18 mph, anytime you touch the gas or brake pedals the Neo disengages, it displays a message telling the driver to take over if it feels it cannot navigate the situation, there is an audible beep every time the Neo is engaged or disengaged, and there are more safety features I am sure I am not thinking of.
‘Comma put safety first and you can tell.’
‘The car accelerates like a grandma when it is in stop and go traffic.’
However, he found that Neo had a tendency to pull the vehicle to the right sometimes, but a software update from Comma resolved the issue.
Now that it is fully working, it is being compared to Tesla’s Auto Pilot.
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