Honda Motor aims to become the first Japanese automaker to commercially launch a vehicle fitted with SAE Level-3 autonomous driving technology later this year, according to local reports citing unnamed sources.
The reports suggest the Japanese automaker plans to launch the new model in the second half of 2020, featuring "hands-off" technology that will allow drivers to engage in other activities such as reading and watching TV while driving in slow-moving traffic. This level of technology still requires drivers to remain alert in case of an emergency.
Germany's Audi is the only other carmaker so far to sell vehicles with Level-3 autonomous driving technology in Japan, in its A8 flagship sedan model, with self-driving capabilities used in slow-moving traffic on expressways.
Honda is expected to introduce the Level-3 self-driving model upon completion of joint tests scheduled to take place on public roads in Tokyo in July between all major Japanese automakers.
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