Honda takes its self-driving Acura RLX prototype for a spin in Detroit

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This new self-driving car fad has reached fever pitch it seems, after Japanese automaker Honda launched its self-driving Acura RLX sedan in the home of American motoring.

Following in the stead of Google, Ford and fellow Japanese marque Toyota before it, Honda also hopes to eliminate accidents and driver fatalities with the use of automated and fully self-driving cars. The technology is penned for 2020 release on Honda’s road cars, which would certainly make 2020 a big year for automotive technologies.

Nevertheless, the Acura RLX features some nifty automated features, that allows the car to merge onto freeways seamlessly, exit said freeway or change lanes and recognize vehicles around it.

Of course, the car doesn’t exactly sniff out where it’s supposed to be or what it’s supposed to do. It has a plethora of cameras that monitor lane markings alongside radar sensors up front and along its flanks. The top of the car makes way for a laser assisted beacons that scan the car’s whereabouts and GPS-assisted route planning, to ensure the speed limit is obeyed.

According to AP, the car performed an 8-mile loop around Detroit (no connection with Eminem, at all) and didn’t collide into anything, even though the driver’s hands we’re far from the steering wheel. If the car is faced with a situation it cannot quite compute though, it returns control to the master and commander in the cockpit.

Honda’s technology is only in its infancy, but the technology looks promising. Although it might change the aesthetics of cars in the future, we can look forward to reading the newspaper in the driver’s seat sooner rather than later.

Featured Image: Mike Mozart via Flickr

Andy Walker
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