New Honda Legend can drive itself—but only in Japan
Honda’s latest Legend luxury sedan is the first car on sale with Level 3 autonomous driving as standard. However, there are a couple of caveats. First, the Legend Hybrid EX will only be available in Japan, and second only 100 models will be available on lease.
Using Honda Sensing Elite driver-assist tech, the car can drive itself under certain conditions without drivers having to keep their hands on the wheel or their eyes on the road. In fact, Honda says drivers can watch TV on the car’s infotainment system instead.
With Honda’s Traffic Jam Pilot, and lane-keep and adaptive cruise control the car is said to be able to fully control itself on the highway, even making overtakes on its own, or triggered by the driver using the turn signal. This fully hands-off driving mode puts Honda ahead of Tesla’s Autopilot and Cadillac’s Super Cruise systems, which require the driver to pay attention.
An onboard camera monitors the driver and when the car decides to hand back control it will alert him or her by vibrating the seatbelt. If there’s no response from the driver the car will pull over and stop, flashing its blinkers and sounding its horn to warn other road users.
Audi showed a version of its A8 with similar technology in 2017, but global regulations prevented it from being introduced. Honda also says it has no plans to expand the production run, meaning the people paying $100,000 for the Legend are essentially guinea pigs for the new tech.