In a statement issued on November 7, Honda threw its hat in the self-driving-vehicle ring by joining the Automated Vehicle Safety Consortium (AVSC). The AVSC, formed in April, already includes SAE International, Ford, General Motors, Toyota, Uber ATG, Daimler, and Lyft as members.
“Honda sees great potential in automated vehicle technology to greatly reduce injuries and fatalities for all road users,” said Toshihiro Mibe, president and representative director, Honda R&D Co., Ltd., in explaining Honda’s decision to participate. “Joining AVSC will allow us to further our goals by establishing broadly accepted best safety practices.”
Dr. Edward Straub, Executive Director of the AVSC, has explained the organization’s purpose in a separate statement. “The adoption and acceptance of AV technologies is an international challenge. The combined expertise assembled as part of the AVSC represents the type of collaborative thinking that’s needed if we’re to develop global solutions,” said Straub.
The AVSC was formed to accelerate the development of SAE Level 4 and 5 automated driving systems. Level four would include a local driverless taxi that can operate under limited conditions, and possibly without a steering wheel installed. Level five has no restrictions, and can operate in all conditions. These levels are recognized by the Department of Transportation and became a de facto global standard adopted by stakeholders in the automated vehicle technology.
Honda is developing automated vehicle technologies through research, investment, and partnerships to promote broader access to safe and reliable transportation solutions. Honda has a long history of successful innovation, most notably from its variable valve timing advance that broke the 100-horsepower-per-liter barrier, helping to bring about the Type R craze that saw power outputs go far beyond that. And in 1987, Honda was the first car company to introduce four-wheel steering, on the Prelude. In 1981, it became the first car company to offer in-car satellite navigation.
Honda further wrote that the company “is creating technologies and products including advancements in automated vehicles, connectivity and ultra-low carbon mobility. In North America, the company has more than 3 million vehicles on the road equipped with advanced safety and driver-assistive technologies which represent the technological and perceptual pathway to the automated vehicle technologies of the future.”
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