Honda Malaysia (HM) has introduced the Honda Accord with the Honda Sensing suite of driver assistance systems, which made its debut here with the fifth-generation Honda CR-V in July. Honda Sensing is now standard with the range-topping Honda Accord 2.4 VTi-L Advance, which is priced at RM169,800 on-the-road without insurance.

Honda Sensing uses a millimetre wave radar in the grille and a monocular camera positioned at the top of the windscreen to provide a number of active safety features.

There are seven items under Honda Sensing, these being Lane Departure Warning (LDW), Lane Keeping Assist System (LKAS), Road Departure Mitigation (RDM). Collision Mitigation Braking System (CMBS), Forward Collision Warning (FCW) and Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC).

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The LDW, as its name suggests, monitors the vehicle’s lane position using a monocular camera (positioned between the windshield and rear-view mirror) and alerts the driver if the vehicle is veering out of the lane. It operates at speeds from 72 km/h up to 180 km/h on straight and slightly curved roads, and remains on standby at speeds within the operating range with the turn signals not engaged.

As for LKAS, the system uses the monocular camera to detect lane markings and, working with the electric power steering system, actively adds corrective steering torque to maintain its position in the centre of the lane. It’s advanced enough to identify painted lanes, cat-eye markers and Botts’ dots and is available at speeds between 72-180 km/h.

The RDM also employs active steering input to keep the car in its intended lane, but the system focuses more on preventing drivers from unintentionally leaving a road altogether. When the camera detects the Accord veering too close to the edge of the road, it vibrates the steering to alert the driver.

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If the car leaves a lane marked by a solid line, the system engages braking assistance (via the Vehicle Stability Assist) to provide moderate braking to slow down the car and adds corrective steering torque to bring the car back to the lane.

While the workings of RDM and LKAS sound similar, the Honda Sensing engineers present at the event explained that RDM is a safety function (it works only for about five seconds to get the car back in line), while LKAS is a comfort feature, working unobtrusively in the background.

Next, FCW, which utilises the monocular camera as well as a millimetre wave radar, which has an operating range of around 100 metres. If it detects a risk of collision, the system creates visual and audible alerts to prompt a driver to react to the situation.

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Should a driver still fail to react to the impending collision, then the CMBS system can apply the brakes autonomously (in varying levels of brake pressure) to reduce the vehicle’s speed in an attempt to prevent a collision or mitigate the effects of one.

The system can tell the difference between a vehicle and a pedestrian, but in the case of people, is only able to detect adults – it isn’t able to pick up forms under one metre in height, which also means it won’t engage if faced with something like a traffic cone.

Finally ACC, which again combines the workings of the millimetre wave radar and the monocular camera. In the case of ACC, it allows the Accord the capability of autonomously maintaining a desired speed and distance relative to the vehicle ahead, and can be set to operate from 30 km/h up, working up to 180 km/h.

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Honda Sensing aside, the 175 PS/225 Nm Accord 2.4 VTi-L’s list of equipment remains unchanged. One gets paddles shifters for the five-speed auto gearbox, LED headlamps, active cornering lights, 18-inch wheels (235/45 tyres), hydrophilic door mirrors, a powered rear sunshade and a ‘Premium Sound System’ with subwoofer.

That’s on top of the goodies already on the 2.0 VTi-L, which include leather seats, auto wipers, auto dimming rear-view mirror, eight-way powered driver’s seat, four-way powered passenger seat, rear door window sunshades, Honda LaneWatch and a multi-angle rear-view camera. Things like keyless entry and push start, cruise control, dual-zone air con and six airbags have been standard across the ninth-generation Accord facelift range.

Speaking of the 2.0 VTi-L, it’s the only 2.0 litre (155 PS/190 Nm) variant still available in Malaysia, as HM has dropped the previous entry-level 2.0 VTi variant. This means that the local Accord range now has two instead of three options, starting from an unchanged RM149,350 for the 2.0 VTi-L and topping out at RM169,800 for the updated 2.4 VTi-L Advance with Honda Sensing.

HM says that the Accord tops the local D-segment market, and that the facelifted ninth-gen has found 5,500 new homes since September 2016. Of this total, the 2.4L contributed 25%, but the most popular variant is the 2.0 VTi-L with 61%. The dropped base model was the pick of just 14% of Accord buyers.

By the way, 34% of new CR-V buyers opted for the top model with Honda Sensing, and almost 50% of 1.5L Turbo owners paid the premium for the safety package. This could perhaps translate to a good take up for the Accord 2.4 VTi-L Advance. To find out what Honda Sensing does, check out our demo video featuring the Honda CR-V below.