Honda Legend Hybrid EX with Honda Sensing Elite – hands-off Level 3 automated driving, RM416k in Japan

Honda Legend Hybrid EX with Honda Sensing Elite – hands-off Level 3 automated driving, RM416k in Japan

The Honda Legend with Honda Sensing Elite will go on sale in Japan from March 5, with a production run of just 100 units earmarked for the carmaker’s home market. It will be priced at 11,000,000 yen (RM416,630) including the local 10% consumption tax rate.

Available as a sole Hybrid EX variant, the Honda Legend is powered by a 3.5 litre direct injection V6 petrol engine that is paired to a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission with Sport Hybrid all-wheel-drive (SH-AWD).

The automaker’s suite of driver assistance systems in the Legend includes active lane change assist with hands-off function, active lane change with hands-off function and Traffic Jam Pilot, and enables Level 3 automated driving, for which Honda has received approval from the Japanese ministry of land, infrastructure, transport and tourism (MLIT).

Blue accessory lights within the front bumper denote the Legend Hybrid EX as one with partially autonomous driving capabilities, along with a new aluminium wheel design to distinguish the Level 3 self-driving-capable sedan. Inside, the cabin features Honda Sensing Elite indicator lights to help the driver know the operating status of the system, driving situation and requests for handing control back to the driver.

Honda Legend Hybrid EX with Honda Sensing Elite – hands-off Level 3 automated driving, RM416k in Japan

Vehicle control by the system is enabled by the use of data from three-dimensional high-definition maps and the global navigation satellite system which determine the position of the vehicle and road conditions, while the vehicle’s surroundings are detected using a number of external sensors. Inside, the vehicle tracks the driver’s attentiveness with a monitoring camera.

One of the key features of the Honda Sensing Elite system is the hands-off function, which will assist in steering the vehicle when the driver has his or her hands off the steering wheel when adaptive cruise control low speed follow and lane keeping assist system is activated.

The feature is supported by adaptive in lane driving, which aids in maintaining position within a lane at a pre-set speed. When a vehicle is encountered ahead, the system helps in keeping to the middle of the lane while keeping a proper following distance from the vehicle in front.

This is joined by the active lane change assist with hands-off function, which executes lane change manoeuvres when the driver switches on the turn signal and adjusts the vehicle’s speed to suit. An even more autonomous function is the active lane change with hands-off function (minus the ‘assist’).

This assesses the road traffic situation and aids in changing lanes or passing vehicles in certain conditions, such as when the systems detects the vehicle in front being driven at low speed. The system will then notify the driver before executing the pass, and returning to its original lane.

Traffic Jam Pilot comes into action when the Legend is being driven with adaptive in lane driving, and gets caught in traffic congestion under certain conditions. Here, the system control acceleration, braking and steering while monitoring the vehicle’s surroundings for the driver.

This system pilots the vehicle along in stop-start traffic within the same lane, while maintaining a safe following distance according to the speed of the vehicle in front. When Traffic Jam Pilot is activated, the driver can watch television or video on the navigation screen, or operate the navigation system to search for and address while the system drives the car in traffic, helping mitigate driver fatigue and stress, says Honda.

Emergency Stop Assist is incorporated into the system in the event that the driver has become unresponsive to the system’s requests to retake control. If the driver does not respond to takeover requests, the system will use escalating alarm sounds and vibration through the driver’s seatbelt.

Honda Legend Hybrid EX with Honda Sensing Elite – hands-off Level 3 automated driving, RM416k in Japan

If the driver continues to be non-responsive, the system will gradually decelerate while alerting other road users with its hazard lights and horn. When a road shoulder is detected, the system will gradually make lane changes and slow the car to a stop when it is safe.

Indicator lights are located on the steering wheel, the top of the navigation system and glovebox to inform the driver of the driver assistance system’s operating status. The steering wheel is illuminated when the Hands-off Function is activated, while blue lights come on when Traffic Jam Pilot is activated. When the system requests a handover back to the driver, all indicator lights blink in orange.

The Honda Legend Hybrid EX with the Honda Sensing Elite suite goes on sale in Japan on a lease sale basis. Available in six exterior colours, Majestic Black Pearl, Platinum White Pearl, Super Platinum Metallic, Premium Deep Rosso Pearl, Modern Steel Metallic and Obsidian Blue Pearl, while the interior is available in three colours – Premium Black, Deep Brown and Sea Coast Ivory.

GALLERY: 2018 Honda Legend

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Mick Chan

Open roads and closed circuits hold great allure for Mick Chan. Driving heaven to him is exercising a playful chassis on twisty paths; prizes ergonomics and involvement over gadgetry. Spent three years at a motoring newspaper and short stint with a magazine prior to joining this website.




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