10/27/2014 | 2 MINUTE READ

Honda Debuts Multi-Function Driver Assist System

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Honda Motor Co. is introducing a new driver-assist feature that recognizes road signs, brakes automatically and provides corrective steering, false start prevention and adaptive cruise control with automatic low-speed follow.

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Honda Motor Co. is introducing a new driver-assist feature that recognizes road signs, brakes automatically and provides corrective steering, false start prevention and adaptive cruise control with automatic low-speed follow.

The system will debut in Japan by year-end in the revamped Honda Legend flagship sedan (Acura RLX in other markets). Honda says it will expand the technology to unspecified other models.

Dubbed Honda Sensing, the system incorporates a millimeter-wave radar in the grille and a forward-facing monocular camera mounted in the cabin at the top of the windshield. The radar unit can detect pedestrians, a difficult feat because people don't reflect radio waves well, according to Honda.

The camera detects objects within 200 feet of the front of the vehicle, including pedestrians. The camera and radar compare data to improve recognition accuracy. Honda says the system also can recognize the intentions of the driver and vehicle operating conditions.

The resulting collaborative system offers eight types of driver assist:

  • Adaptive cruise control and low-speed follow. This feature uses the camera and radar to monitor the gap with the vehicle ahead. It modulates braking and acceleration, and can operate down to zero mph.
  • Collision mitigation braking. The system first gives the driver an audio and visual warning of impending impact. If the driver takes no action, the car brakes gently. If needed driver action still doesn't begin, the car will brake hard.
  • Lane-keeping assist. The camera monitors the car's lane position at speeds above 40 mph and provides automatic steering. If the system determines it may not be able to stay in its lane, it warns the driver by causing the steering wheel to vibrate.
  • Road departure mitigation. The system warns the driver with a visual warning and vibrating steering wheel if the vehicle strays out of its lane. It automatically steers the car back into position. If it determines the vehicle has strayed too far out of its lane to correct, it applies the brake to prevent the car from leaving the road.
  • Traffic sign recognition. The system detects road signs and brings them to the attention of the driver via a head-up or center-stack display screen.
  • Lead car departure notification. The radar system alerts the driver at a stop light when the vehicle ahead moves off.
  • False start prevention. The radar sensor detects objects directly in front of the car and prevents the driver from accidentally accelerating into them when the vehicle is stopped or moving slowly.
  • Pedestrian collision mitigation steering. The camera and radar work together to look for pedestrians on the side of the road and, if necessary, steer the car away from them while providing audio and visual warnings.