Honda is continuing its work on developing the latest generation of autonomous cars that can anticipate accidents, alert drivers to dangers and even drive themselves.
The Japanese-based automotive company earlier this week showcased its second-generation automated development vehicle at GoMentum Station in Concord, California, which is 29 miles east of San Francisco.
The Contra Costa Transportation Authority, which leads projects at GoMentum, and the City of Concord partners with automobile manufacturers like Honda on projects such as testing autonomous cars that can help improve safety.
GoMentum features about 20 miles of paved road on 5,000 acres in the decommissioned zone of the Concord Naval Weapons Station. The site has a road grid, buildings and other infrastructure to provide a realistic environment.
The second-generation vehicle featured was a modified version of the Acura RLX Sport Hybrid SH-AWD luxury performance sedan. Honda fitted it with a new suite of radar, Lidar, camera and GPS sensors as well as higher performance CPUs and GPUs, improved cabling, heat management and circuitry.
“Automated vehicles have the potential to significantly improve safety and expand access to mobility,” said Jim Keller, senior manager and chief engineer, Honda R&D Americas. “We believe that safe and secure sites like GoMentum provide a unique opportunity to accelerate technology development and the advent of a cooperative car society.”
Honda already offers advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) in its core models such as the Civic, CR-V, Accord and Pilot with Honda Sensing. That system features an alert system that tells a driver when they’re leaving their lanes, automated steering that keeps a driver in the middle of their lane, vibrated steering alerts which activate when a driver is too close to the side of a road when traveling between 45-90 mph, forward collision warning and several others.
On its Acura brand, Honda offers a similar auto-safety package called the AcuraWatch.
Honda indicated that the work it’s doing at GoMentum Station, which is being spearheaded by Honda Research Institute USA, will help it put its newest automated driving technologies into use on state highways around 2020.
Officials with GoMentum said that the work being done by companies like Honda will help improve highway safety.
“The Contra Costa Transportation Authority and GoMentum Station are committed to supporting innovative research that will influence transportation and enhance safety for all road users,” said Randy Iwasaki, Executive Director, CCTA. “Our partners are developing autonomous and connected vehicle technology that will help accelerate the next generation of transportation infrastructure and make the future of driving safer around the world.”
Check out the 2016 Honda Civic coupe being tossed around the track in this TFLcar Leaderboard video: