29 October 2013
Autonomous driving is the name of the game for all the car companies as of late, and Honda isn’t far behind its competitors, most of whom have already unveiled their self-driving vehicles. Honda demonstrated their automatic valet parking system at the Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) World Congress in Tokyo.
The parking system however is not fully automated like that of the Ford Focus which can self-park. Honda’s system relies on the input of the cameras in the parking lot as well as the car’s rearview cameras. Drivers can drop off their cars at a central location and then using a touchscreen panel, let the car park itself and then return to the drop off point when the driver is leaving. The advantage of this kind of automation is that it can let multiple cars park itself at the same time and that there are no additional sensors needed for the car. But the drawback is that it can only be done in parking lots that are properly equipped with the aforementioned cameras. In their demonstration at the congress, they said this will be viable and operational by the year 2020.
Aside from the valet parking, they also revealed their semi-autonomous driving and non-contact electric vehicle recharging technologies at the congress. Japan is a great market for auto pilot and driverless car technologies, particularly because of the emerging elderly market. As the population continues to grey every year, there will be a need for these kinds of cars, for the safety and convenience of the elderly.
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