What is the new Honda Legend Level 3 autonomous driving “Honda SENSING Elite”?

The new Honda “Legend” equipped with the level 3 automatic driving function “Honda SENSING Elite” that has been announced for some time will be released on the 5th. I will explain what kind of function it is and what kind of driving is possible.

The “Honda SENSING Elite” installed in the new Legend has “Hands-off function in-lane driving support function” and “Traffic jam pilot” added to the existing Honda SENSING ADAS function to support Level 3 autonomous driving.

The in-lane driving support function with hands-off function can be used for main lane driving, lane change / overtaking (blinker operation required), and main lane if certain conditions are met while the traffic jam adaptive cruise control (ACC) and lane keeping function (LKAS) are operating. Execute exit (when the system determines that it is necessary in the navigation settings, etc.) even when the steering wheel is not held.

The traffic jam pilot is activated at less than 30km / h on the highway and released at a speed of 50km / h. The operation is performed by the system during that time. In normal traffic jam handling ACC, if the stop time is long, the RES button and accelerator operation are required to restart, but the traffic jam pilot is not required. When the speed increases or the system becomes unable to respond, a request for a change of driving (warning) is issued, and the driver must take over the driving, but during that time it can be judged that L3 automatic driving is in progress, so the driver releases the steering wheel. Not only that, you can watch videos on the console screen.

The conditions under which the system can be operated are national expressways, urban expressways, and motorways connected to these (excluding sections where oncoming lanes are not separated, service areas, tollhouses, and other sections), such as snowfall. The vehicle and driving lane must be recognizable without heavy rain, heavy fog, or backlight. In addition, it is necessary to be in a traffic jam state in which low-speed vehicles are running in parallel around the own vehicle. GNSS and map information must be acquired correctly. It is also necessary that the driver is wearing the seatbelt in the correct posture and is not operating the accelerator or brakes.

When you get behind a traffic jam on most highways, the system will notify you to activate a “traffic jam pilot”. The driver confirms this and releases the steering wheel and brakes to start Level 3 autonomous driving. During this period, the system will adjust the speed and handle merging vehicles and lane-changing vehicles.

When the vehicle gets out of the traffic jam and the speed increases, the system displays a message to switch the automatic driving mode (request for driving change) on the instrument panel. It is orange at first, but gradually turns red, and after 4 seconds, it winds up the seatbelt and gives a tactile warning / request for replacement to the driver.

If the driver still does not start driving, the system will turn on the hazard and sound the horn while moving to the lane or to the left to stop the vehicle (MRM: Minimal Risk Maneuver).

There is statistical data that more than 70% of highway accidents are rear-end collisions at speeds of 50 km / h or less. Honda applied Level 3 autonomous driving to driving control during highway congestion in order to effectively reduce highway accidents. Most of the rear-end collisions are caused by the driver’s carelessness such as inattentiveness and careless driving caused by tiredness and stress caused by traffic jams. With automatic operation by machines, human-like errors and oversights can be almost eliminated.

While some OEMs are aiming for L4 by passing L3 due to the complexity of requirements such as setting applicable conditions for autonomous driving, taking over control, and MRM, Honda is the first in the world (Legend is L3 autonomous driving function This is the reason for announcing the L3 self-driving car (the world’s first vehicle that has received the type designation including).

In order to realize the functions including Level 3 autonomous driving as described above, the new Legend will be equipped with two cameras on the front, one camera to detect the driver’s condition in the passenger compartment, and five radars and LiDAR each. To. In addition, high-precision 3D map information and GNSS (GPS) will be used to accurately grasp the position of the vehicle.

In the case of road conditions like Japan, not only camera images but also 3D data (point cloud data) of the surrounding area by LiDAR are required. Experimental vehicles often have a rotary LiDAR mounted on the roof in order to grasp 360 degrees, but it is difficult to adopt this method for commercial vehicles in terms of design and practical use. It can be embedded in the car body by using multiple LiDARs, but it is a high hurdle to install a large amount of LiDARs, which tend to be expensive, in mass-produced vehicles.

In recent years, small and inexpensive LiDAR products have been released, but the five LiDARs are designed to be quite devoted to the vehicles produced on the line. The reason for the redundant configuration is that there are two front cameras. Honda will install Level 3 autonomous driving in commercial vehicles, so reliability is prioritized over cost. As for cost, it is not an essential issue because if it becomes widespread, the price will fall according to the general market principle. First of all, I would like to evaluate the fact that the model is specified for Level 3 autonomous driving of commercial vehicles and it is sold in the market.