Published on January 31st, 2023 | by Subhash Nair0
Honda Sensing Is Being Guided By A Dream Of Safe Autonomous Cars
Honda Sensing is becoming a big part of its product line, so it’s time to explore its development.
Honda has set its sights on eliminating all traffic fatalities involving its motorcycles and vehicles by 2050. The key to this goal is Honda’s SENSING safety and driver-assistive system, which incorporates a variety of advanced technologies and automated driving functions. Yutaka Tamagawa, Head of the Software Defined Mobility Development Supervisory Unit, Business Development Operations, explains how Honda is advancing these technologies to create a world where people can safely and confidently enjoy mobility.
Honda has been researching and developing safety and driver-assist technologies for many years. In 2003, Honda introduced the world’s first radar-based Collision Mitigation Braking System (CMBS) in its vehicles, which became the foundation for the current Honda SENSING system. Honda’s goal with SENSING was to bring “human-like” perception to vehicles. Currently, the front-facing camera has a 100-degree viewing angle and can identify people, bikes, cars, and motorcycles, quickly detecting and avoiding potential dangers.
In 2022 (2023 in Japan), Honda introduced SENSING 360, which expanded the field of vision to 360 degrees and added new driver-assistive functions such as automatic emergency steering and monitoring of the vehicle’s rear to ensure safe exit. SENSING 360 uses five units of radar (one in front and one at each corner), along with the front camera, to sense potential dangers from all angles. So far, Honda SENSING-equipped vehicles have reduced rear-end collisions by 80% and vehicle-pedestrian collisions by 50%. The next-generation of Honda SENSING, set to be applied starting in 2024, will bring further improvements to collision prevention.
The Honda SENSING system is designed to enhance human capabilities, allowing any driver to drive with confidence and peace of mind. The system uses sensing technologies to cover areas beyond human perception, making it possible to safely change lanes, drive longer distances, and avoid collisions even in poor visibility. Honda is focused on both safety and comfort in developing the SENSING technologies.
Tamagawa says, “The development team members share a common vision, which is to create a driving experience that feels like KITT from the American TV series Knight Rider.” Honda’s goal is to offer the freedom and joy of mobility in a safe and secure way for everyone on the road. With the introduction of SENSING 360 and its next-generation technologies, Honda is well on its way to achieving its zero traffic fatalities goal.
Honda’s SENSING 360 and next-gen technologies have been made possible by the Legend model equipped with Honda SENSING Elite, which includes a Level 3 automated driving function for the first time in the world. The development of the Legend model took a lot of time and effort, but it has dramatically increased the level of safety and driver assistance. To prove its safety, the system underwent simulations of 10 million real-world situations and 1.3 million km (800,000 mi) of demonstration tests on Japanese expressways.
Honda focused on building trust between the driver and vehicle during the Legend’s development. To achieve this, Honda refined the smallest details so the vehicle’s behavior feels natural to the driver. This focus on natural safety and driver assistance features will be carried over to the upcoming SENSING 360 and next-gen technologies.
Honda is aiming to establish advanced autonomous vehicle technologies in the second half of the 2020s, beyond its four-decade dream of automated driving. Honda’s goal is to create something new and innovative that exceeds people’s expectations. The development team is highly motivated and driven by the dream of creating something that does not yet exist in the world.
Honda’s highest priority is to develop what customers want the most and offer it as soon as possible. The company is exchanging a wide variety of ideas and taking on difficult challenges to create a unique car. Honda has a history of being ahead of the times, as seen with its creation of the world’s first car navigation system in 1981. Now, they want to take it one step further and go beyond their earlier dream of automated driving.