It should come as no surprise that the world’s largest engine manufacturer could change driving as we know it. Maybe we all just assumed Honda was too busy making engines for everything from weed whackers to speed boats all over the world — we’re talking well over 20 million engines annually. Turns out, they can handle their popularity and some.
Read on to discover a little project Honda has been working on that might just make history. And be sure to use our free tool above to compare car insurance rates!
#1 – They’ll be the “Best Dressed”
Honda released to the public on June 1st 2017 that their self-driving vehicles would be on the market by 2025 — eight years or less. What’s interesting is that BMW, Ford, GM, Google, Mercedes-Benz, Nissan, Tesla, Volvo, and others have dangled even earlier release dates. But keep in mind that the iPhone wasn’t the first smartphone. Honda’s endgame might actually be to not be first.
Honda spokesman Sage Marie said, “Honda isn’t always the first to the party, but we’re usually the best dressed!”
Honda’s Research and Development department has a record amount of $6.84 billion set aside for this little project.
#2 – They’ll Drive Us, Literally>
What Honda has in the works is what the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) deems a level four automated vehicle, which has a steering wheel that’s (mostly) for looks.
According to the SAE, Level Four, or High Automation, is “The driving mode-specific performance by an Automated Driving System of all aspects of the dynamic driving task, even if a human driver does not respond appropriately to a request to intervene.”
In earlier press releases, Honda stated it would have vehicles on the market with autonomous freeway driving systems, level three systems, by 2020. With some foresight and patience, they’ve given themselves a five year buffer to make humans behind the wheel unnecessary on all roads.
#3 – They’ll Change the World
The unarguable race that is going on amongst manufacturers is the biggest, most important one since the era of the automobile began in the late 1700s.
It might not be the first self-driving car, but the safest most affordable ones, like Honda plans to deliver, will undoubtedly change how we get from point A to point B forever.
Just imagine the drastic reduction in: distracted driving, drunk driving, road rage, collisions, injuries, deaths, repairs, pollution, road signs, traffic signals, cameras, and highway patrol. And the billions of dollars this reduction saves will put money back in your pocket.
#4 – They’ll Need Accurate Direction
What often gets overlooked in the excitement of the “when” is the “how.”
Not only will these fully autonomous vehicles need highly intelligent, reactive radar, lasers, sensors, and cameras to “see” obstacles and avoid accidents, but they will need to access 3D, 100 percent accurate, digital maps so they always know how to efficiently and safely meet their destinations.
These computerized map systems don’t need to just be created for over four million miles of U.S. roads, they need to be constantly updated. This task is almost as massive as building the robocar itself. Good thing the maps will be ready for Honda’s self-drivers.
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#5 – Safety will not be Sacrificed
Honda has built enough engines to know that rushing production will only create deadly mistakes. This self-driving car race will be nowhere near over when the first level fours are released for public use.
According to Honda CEO Takahiro Hachigo:
“We are striving to provide our customers with a sense of confidence and trust by offering automated driving that will keep vehicles away from any dangerous situation and that will not make people around the vehicle feel unsafe. We’re going to place utmost priority on electrification and advanced safety technologies going forward.”
Honda has trained for the self-driving car marathon, while others will sprint neck-in-neck to the tape.
#6 – Affordability will be Expected
This might just be the area that Honda will stand out the most. No exact price tags have been put on these self-driving cars of the future, but Tesla has estimated that the automated hardware alone will cost users about $10,000. Add that to Tesla’s cheapest car on the market today, and you’re looking at just under $70,000.
All estimations aside, this very minute you could buy the Honda Civic LX for only $20,440 that can take a 25 mile drive by itself in the right conditions.
Honda’s extended timeline allows them to create a safe, affordable masterpiece like none other.
– The Dark Horse
While people are dazzled by the first and finest self-driving cars, Honda will be noting the earliest complaints and errors. After learning what to perfect in the first models, Honda will create something better. Like Henry Ford, Honda might just get all the credit.
Learn from Honda’s example, do your research and be sure to find the best car insurance out there. Use our free tool to compare a few policies here.