Potentially life-saving advanced safety technology is set to expand across a wider variety of future Honda models as the automaker pledges to correct its previous decision to reserve safety system for flagship models.
At the launch of the fifth-generation CR-V in Canberra this week, Honda Australia Director Stephen Collins confirmed to TMR that the the local division is working with its Japanese counterparts to add its Honda Sensing suite of safety systems to every new model variant introduced in the future.
At present Honda Sensing includes advanced safety features like autonomous emergency braking, forward collision warning, lane keeping assistance and adaptive cruise control.
"It will depend on each model, model upgrade and where they are in the lifecycle but it is our intention to introduce [Honda Sensing] across everything as soon as we can," Collins said.
"Some will take longer than others, but we’re trying to get it across the entire line-up as soon as possible."
Collins suggested that Honda’s SUV range would be likely to add the technologies first, starting with the HR-V small SUV and just-launched CR-V possibly before the end of 2017, with the Civic range to follow in early 2018.
Owing to the complexity of the camera-based system, Collins could not guarantee that prices would remain static for those entry-level models which don’t currently feature the electronic driver aids, but suggested the brand could take on at least some of the additional costs.
"There is a significant investment involved now [with the technology] and we're not putting cost ahead of safety in any way. We want to remain competitive on price, and we may be able to absorb some of the cost but we've still got work to do."
Honda's change of position regarding safety technology comes after the Australian New Car Assessment Program announced that it was "disappointed" by Honda’s decision to exclude all but its top-line models from having advanced safety systems like autonomous braking, particularly as a growing number of rival brands offer the technology over a wider range of vehicles.
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