Honda will be the first Japanese manufacturer to introduce Level 3 self-driving tech.
Honda has been developing self-driving technology for some time now, and soon we will finally see the result of its investment. According to a report by Nikkei Asian Review, Honda will launch a new self-driving car in Japan next summer that will be a game-changer.
It will be based on the flagship Honda Legend sold in Japan and will be fitted with Level 3 self-driving technology. This will be the first time Level 3 self-driving tech has ever been offered by a Japanese manufacturer.
It's expected to retail for around 10 million yen, which is around $91,000. That makes it 40 percent more expensive than the standard model. Level 3 autonomy enables the car to drive itself for extended periods, but the driver is still required to take over control when necessary. In normal conditions, the driver of the new Legend won't need to keep their hands on the wheel or eyes on the road, allowing them to use a smartphone or watch TV while the car takes over driving.
The Audi A8 was the first production car to use Level 3 semi-autonomous driving technology, but it still hasn't been rolled in some locations due to legislation issues.
Japan is making a big push for self-driving cars as the aim is to commercialize Level-3 tech next year. New laws that come to effect next spring will allow Level 3 self-driving cars on the road. At this stage, however, it isn't clear if Honda intends to bring the technology to America. Honda doesn't sell the Legend in the US, but the tech could potentially be applied to luxury Acura models such as the Acura RLX in the future, which is essentially a rebadged Honda Legend.