Honda’s US-based luxury arm Acura has wheeled out its second-generation self-driving test vehicle this week, with the company packing an RLX large sedan (AKA the Honda Legend) to the gills with sensors, cameras and the computing power necessary to enable fully-autonomous driving.
Equipped with radar, lidar, a camera array and high-precision GPS, the autonomous RLX testbed will be used to test “sensor fusion”, or the ability of the car to meld all of the data from its various sensors into a cohesive electronic “picture” of the car’s surroundings.
Its testing ground will be the GoMentum Station, a 5000-acre former Naval base near San Francisco with over 36km of simulated roadways that’s used solely for the development of autonomous vehicle technology.
Besides Honda, other manufacturers including Mercedes-Benz are said to use the facility.
While the use of an RLX/Legend doesn’t necessarily hint that that model will eventually feature a self-driving function, Honda has publicly stated it aims to introduce autonomous driving tech to its production cars around the year 2020.
Naturally, being the flagship of Honda and Acura’s model range, the RLX/Legend would be the likely recipient of such an (expensive) piece of hardware.
Right now, the most advanced active driver aids offered by Honda in Australia are fitted to the Accord VTi-L, V6L and Accord Sport Hybrid (above), all of which receive radar-assisted adaptive cruise control, lane keep assist, an anti-collision warning and “Road Departure Mitigation” as standard equipment.