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Honda to launch 'level 3' self-driving car by March

diplomat33

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Aug 3, 2017
7,186
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Terre Haute, IN USA
Honda Motor plans to launch a self-driving vehicle with hands-free capabilities by the end of March. Japan's transport ministry says that would make the automaker the first in the world to commercialize a so-called level-three self-driving vehicle.

Honda says it has obtained a government designation for the firm's autonomous driving system.

Honda to launch 'level 3' self-driving car | NHK WORLD-JAPAN News

This is Traffic Jam Pilot that we've heard about before. It will be hands-free self-driving but only at low speeds, on certain highways and in traffic jam conditions. So it will be L3 but with a very limited ODD.

So in terms of self-driving capability, it won't be impressive. I think the real "news" is that by declaring it L3, the car will be responsible for driving when the system is on. So Honda will be responsible if anything goes wrong. That's probably why the ODD is so restricted. Honda is limiting the ODD that the risk will be as low as possible. But it does represent a big jump from the driver being responsible to the car being responsible in certain conditions.

We should not underestimate the significance of this jump from driver responsibility to car responsibility. It is easy to deploy features that the driver is responsible for. The features can be "beta" even and it does not matter since the driver is supposed to pay attention. If anything goes wrong, the automaker just puts the blame on the driver for not paying attention. It is different when the automaker assumes responsibility. Now, they are implying that the features work to a certain degree that the driver can trust the car completely. With the automaker assuming responsibility, the automaker now has "skin in the game" if anything goes wrong.
 
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NHK X

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Nov 18, 2017
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This is Traffic Jam Pilot that we've heard about before. It will be hands-free self-driving but only at low speeds, on certain highways and in traffic jam conditions. So it will be L3 but with a very limited ODD.

So in terms of self-driving capability, it won't be impressive. I think the real "news" is that by declaring it L3, the car will be responsible for driving when the system is on. So Honda will be responsible if anything goes wrong. That's probably why the ODD is so restricted. Honda is limiting the ODD that the risk will be as low as possible. But it does represent a big jump from the driver being responsible to the car being responsible in certain conditions.

We should not underestimate the significance of this jump from driver responsibility to car responsibility. It is easy to deploy features that the driver is responsible for. The features can be "beta" even and it does not matter since the driver is supposed to pay attention. If anything goes wrong, the automaker just puts the blame on the driver for not paying attention. It is different when the automaker assumes responsibility. Now, they are implying that the features work to a certain degree that the driver can trust the car completely. With the automaker assuming responsibility, the automaker now has "skin in the game" if anything goes wrong.

Even if level 3 and defined by the way we all see it. I still see automakers possibly using legalese and fine print to defer responsibility to the driver. Will be interesting to see if they truly accept liability.
 

diplomat33

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Aug 3, 2017
7,186
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Terre Haute, IN USA
Even if level 3 and defined by the way we all see it. I still see automakers possibly using legalese and fine print to defer responsibility to the driver. Will be interesting to see if they truly accept liability.

Technically, when the L3 system is on, the automaker is responsible and when the L3 system is off, the driver is responsible. But yeah, they might try to find some exceptions. For example, they might show that the system had notified the driver to take over 8 seconds before the accident, so technically the driver was supposed to take over and therefore the driver was responsible. Yes, it will be interesting to see what happens.
 

GZDongles

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Feb 23, 2020
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The legal complexity of L3-L5 autonomy is going to be really interesting to watch. I wonder if a subscription/service or other usage based model will make more sense if the automaker is truly responsible. Otherwise, the automaker in theory would have limited revenue and unlimited liability. Or the automaker could require the user to be enrolled in a special insurance plan that covers accidents while in a Level 3-5 operating mode.
 
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banned-66611

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This is Traffic Jam Pilot that we've heard about before. It will be hands-free self-driving but only at low speeds, on certain highways and in traffic jam conditions. So it will be L3 but with a very limited ODD.

The article I linked to has a video right at the top showing it driving on a highway.

The press release from Honda (in Japanese) says it does highway driving. They are using HD maps, the same as Nissan and Lexus do in their Level 2 systems.

BhGnDSa.png
 
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diplomat33

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Aug 3, 2017
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Terre Haute, IN USA
The article I linked to has a video right at the top showing it driving on a highway.

The press release from Honda (in Japanese) says it does highway driving. They are using HD maps, the same as Nissan and Lexus do in their Level 2 systems.

BhGnDSa.png

Thanks. I found this article from Reuters that mentioned Traffic Jam Pilot in the same article about L3. I guess I assumed it was referring to the same thing.

"Japan’s government earlier in the day awarded a safety certification to Honda’s autonomous “Traffic Jam Pilot” driving technology, which legally allow drivers to take their eyes off the road."

Honda says will be first to mass produce level 3 autonomous cars

If Honda will be true L3 highway that would be great.
 

diplomat33

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Aug 3, 2017
7,186
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Terre Haute, IN USA
I found this article which specifically mentions Traffic Jam Pilot. So it is Traffic Jam Pilot that got certified as a SAE L3 autonomous system:

"Honda has announced it has received certification from the Japanese government to offer Level Three autonomous driving technology on its domestic market vehicles.

Honda says its Level Three system, dubbed 'Traffic Jam Pilot', will launch first on the brand's flagship Legend sedan, with a Japanese showroom debut confirmed for before the end of March, 2021.

Like other Level Three autonomous systems, Traffic Jam Pilot enables the vehicle to take full control of driving – including steering, braking and accelerating – in "certain conditions", such as in a traffic jam on a motorway (as its name suggests).

Drivers are allowed to take their eyes off the road, but are required to be present and alert to retake control of the car when "driving environment conditions become unsatisfactory"."

2021 Honda Legend set to gain Level Three autonomous driving capability
 

powertoold

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Oct 10, 2014
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We can assess it when they actually release it. BMW still hasn't released their traffic light / urban cruise feature yet. They've been talking about it for over a year now.
 

diplomat33

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Aug 3, 2017
7,186
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Terre Haute, IN USA
Is it the same "Traffic Jam Pilot" that Audi was going to release in 2018?

In the 2019 Audi A8, We Let Automated-Driving Tech Take the Wheel

But they never did and in April of 2020 they killed it: Audi hangs up hopes for Level 3 partial automation system - Roadshow

Maybe Honda bought it and is reviving it?

Yeah, I am guessing Honda's version of Traffic Jam Pilot is an improved version of Audi's Traffic Jam Pilot. The fact that Honda's version got L3 certification when Audi abandoned their version, would seem to support that. Plus, it would be logical that Traffic Jam Pilot would have seen some changes in the year since 2019.
 

EVNow

Well-Known Member
Sep 5, 2009
9,523
28,248
Seattle, WA
Yeah, I am guessing Honda's version of Traffic Jam Pilot is an improved version of Audi's Traffic Jam Pilot. The fact that Honda's version got L3 certification when Audi abandoned their version, would seem to support that. Plus, it would be logical that Traffic Jam Pilot would have seen some changes in the year since 2019.
Is it only for Japan (where the law / court system is quite different) ?
 

EVNow

Well-Known Member
Sep 5, 2009
9,523
28,248
Seattle, WA
It is only the Japanese government that certified it as L3. So yeah, I think it would be in Japan so far.
I won't be surprised if it won't immediately come to US - Honda may not even apply for certification (is there anything like that with NHTSA - may have to be done state by state ?).

Unlike Tesla & US - most countries are very supportive of local auto manufacturers. Japan doesn't have the kind of court system / laws we have. So, their risk / exposure because of this L3 in Japan may be quite limited.
 

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