Honda Self Driving Car
Technology has always been at the forefront of the automobile game. As automobile makers try to get their customers hooked and keep them happy, they come up with the hottest new features to try to get them excited and ready to open their wallets, and competitors quickly try to follow suit. Believe it or not, but you didn’t used to be able to hit a button to roll down your windows. You actually had to crank a little lever in circles to get to the fresh air; I know, crazy! But the industry is getting even crazier, as the big new technology everyone is trying to figure out and incorporate into their vehicles is driving without a driver. First the windows became automatic, now the whole car will, and on September 9th the Honda self-driving car was announced.
If you think this whole thing sounds a little absurd and far off, don’t worry the vehicles being produced today are just prototypes. The technology won’t appear in actual Honda vehicles until at least 2020. But on the 9th, the first Honda self-driving car was taken for a spin. It has cameras built to monitor lane markers, front and side radar sensors, a top beacon that is constantly scanning the vehicles’ surrounding by the use of laser beams, and built in GPS to map out its course and speed limits.
Honda executives took the car on a test drive around Detroit, where the driver let go of the car completely upon entering the highway. The Acura RLX sedan then accelerated to the speed limit, braked when it needed to, turned on its signals when changing lanes, merged itself into other highways, avoided construction, and decelerated on the exit ramp. The driver didn’t touch the wheel once during the eight mile drive the vehicle took, but currently the technology is not beyond returning control to the driver if a situation becomes too difficult for the car to take care of on its own.
While Honda is building this technology to reduce the amount of accidents and fatalities on our roadways, I’m still a little skeptical about taking the drivers out of driving. We’ll see what happens as the technology gets polished, and keep you updated as more information becomes available!