Honda has announced it will be the first automaker to mass produce Level 3 autonomous cars, beginning with the Honda Legend.
Vehicle autonomy is ranked from 0 to 5. Level 2 cars are already widely in use and can control their speed and some steering. They are not designed to be unsupervised, however, and the driver must stay alert and be ready to take over. Tesla is working on fully autonomous Level 5 vehicles, although their efforts have been met with a large degree of criticism.
Level 3 would be a step up from current vehicles, with vehicles able to handle more self-driving tasks. Even so, the driver would need to be ready to take over as needed.
“Honda is planning to launch sales of a Honda Legend (luxury sedan) equipped with the newly approved automated driving equipment,” Honda said in a press release, according to Reuters. The Legend is expected to be available in Japan before the end of March 2021.
Honda’s announcement illustrates how important autonomous vehicles are to the future of the industry.