It will likely be years before we see a self-driving car on the streets of West Michigan, but if you were in Detroit this month, there’s a chance you shared the road with one. Honda put their new self-driving car to the test at the ITS World Congress in Detroit, giving it its first official United States road test to show off merging, lane-changing, and freeway exiting capabilities as well as the Vehicle-to-Vehicle (V2V) system Honda has been pioneering.
Always at the Forefront of Safety
As part of Honda’s goal to deliver us to a collision-free society, they have been developing technologies that could be used in self-driving cars for some time now, and while the demonstrated car still requires a driver, its operation is as simple as taking your hands off the wheel and letting the car take over. When it needs to change lanes, the car will even signal and then wait for an opening before getting over.
Eric Blumbergs, Honda’s Senior Engineer, said: “It is not a driverless car. A driver has to be in the driver’s seat and has to engage the system. And the driver has to be available to re-engage when the system’s completed its function.”
“We have a goal of zero crashes eventually, and we also have a goal of safety for everyone. We believe this technology can help us achieve those goals (and) give the driver a stress-free and safe driver experience,” Blumbergs added.
Though this particular prototype has only been in development for about a year, it’s the result of safety research going back decades, and with electric vehicles gaining more traction, it looks like the future of the auto world could be much closer than expected.
See Honda Safety Features in Action
We don’t know when the first self-driven Honda vehicle will hit the streets, but if you want to see some of the technology that makes self-driving cars possible, visit a West Michigan Honda Dealer and let us show you Honda’s adaptive cruise control, Lane Watch, and collision warning systems.