In its pursuit of a collision-free society, Honda has announced a few updates for its ‘Honda Sensing’ advanced driver-assistive systems. With the goal of a collision-free society, Honda Sensing is a suite of active safety features that begins with two types of sensors – you can also think of these sensors as intelligent ‘eyes,’ so to speak.
The first sensor is a millimetre-wave radar located inside the front grille, while the other is a monocular camera mounted on the upper, inside part of the front windshield.
Bear in mind however that these aren’t all ground-breaking technologies. Premium carmakers such as Volvo and Mercedes-Benz, to name a few, have different names for similar technologies, but what’s discussed here is a range of products which Honda will specifically be introducing to the Honda Legend sedan in Japan initially (end 2014), and then across its other models.
The recently-launched US-market 2015 Honda CR-V has also recently benefitted from a few new ‘Honda Sensing’ features, specifically the Collision Mitigations Braking System (CMBS), Lane Keeping Assist System (LKAS), Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) and Forward Collision Warning (FCW).
But having only recently updated its millimetre-wave radar and monocular camera to better detect pedestrians and objects ahead, more functions have been added to Honda Sensing’s capabilities to prevent collisions with other road users, and of course, pedestrians.
Here’s a brief breakdown of the eight key functions of Honda Sensing:
COLLISION MITIGATION BRAKING SYSTEM: Using the two sensors, CMBS can detect oncoming vehicles ahead, and initiate audio and visual warnings. Should a driver ignore this, the car will gentle apply the brakes on its own with a further sensory warning. Hard braking is followed if the CMBS system determines that a driver has ignored all warnings. If a driver does react and takes action to swerve sideways into another lane, CMBS will warn drivers via audio/visual warnings and even a vibration on the steering wheel to warn a driver to take further collision avoidance steps. If an impact is inevitable, CMBS will apply the maximum braking force automatic to help reduce the impact/ damage of the collision.
PEDESTRIAN COLLISION MITIGATION STEERING SYSTEM: With both sensors used, PCMSS constantly monitors for pedestrians alongside the vehicle, on the sidewalk, for example. Should the system detect that either the car is straying too closely to the sidewalk, or if a pedestrian is walking too closely to the road, audio and visual warnings are first issued to drivers. If ignored, the system will steer the car slightly in the opposite direction to avoid contact.
ROAD DEPARTURE MITIGATION: Using just the monocular camera, RDM continually keeps its eyes on the lane boundaries, and uses visual and vibration warnings to let drivers know if the vehicle strays from a lane. RDM can also apply minor corrective steering inputs, but will apply the maximum brake force is it assumes that a driver has strayed too far off the lane, potentially off the road.
LANE KEEPING ASSIST SYSTEM: On highways where it’s easy to drift between lanes without notice, LKAS will issue a vibration to the steering wheel to alert drivers, and if ignored, can steer the car back into its own. This feature only kicks in at speeds above 65km/h.
ADAPTIVE CRUISE CONTROL WITH LOW-SPEED FOLLOW: Active, ACC can follow a car in front at a set distance – applying the brakes or accelerating forward when necessary to maintain the gap. New here is the Low-Speed Follow function, which means that the adaptive auto cruise can even operate in stop-start traffic conditions, all the way down to 0km/h.
TRAFFIC SIGN RECOGNITION: Using the monocular camera, TSR can ‘see,’ and display road signs on the Multi-Information Display or Heads-Up Display system.
FALSE START PREVENTION FUNCTION: If the millimetre-wave radar detects an object ahead of the car while the vehicle is stationary, it will prevent drivers from accelerating ahead, and issue audio and visual warnings, along with vibrations in the accelerator pedal.
LEAD CAR DEPARTURE NOTIFICATION SYSTEM: If you don’t take notice of the car ahead of you moving off from a standstill position, audio and visual notifications will sound off to alert you.