The next-generation Honda Legend will introduce a number of new advanced driver-assist safety features, including one claimed world first, when it goes on sale in Japan later this year.
Dubbed ‘Honda Sensing’, the system consists of two different types of sensors: a millimetre-wave radar located inside the front grille, and a monocular camera mounted on the upper inside section of the windscreen.
The hero feature of the Legend's enhanced Honda Sensing suite is pedestrian collision mitigation steering, which uses the radar and camera to detect pedestrians and the boundary line on the side of the road, and can autonomously steer the vehicle safely away from pedestrians if it forecasts a potential collision. The system delivers audible and visual warnings to the driver before taking control of the steering wheel as a last resort.
The emergency steering function works in collaboration with collision mitigation braking, which detects pedestrians and vehicles, delivers audible and visual warnings, and autonomously brakes the vehicle if it senses a crash is imminent; and road departure mitigation, which detects road lines and delivers visual warnings and vibrations through the steering wheel if it senses the vehicle is straying from its intended line before applying corrective steering input.
Lane keep assist delivers warnings to the driver if the vehicle is straying from its lane, while adaptive cruise control with low-speed follow now operates down to 0km/h, allowing the driver to hand over control of the acceleration and braking functions in heavy traffic. The lead car departure notification function aids this by issuing audible and visual warnings when the car directly in front moves away in standstill traffic.
Other features of the Honda Sensing system include traffic sign recognition, which displays detected signs in the instrument cluster or heads-up display, and false start prevention, which detects objects directly in front of the vehicle and delivers audible and visual warnings and vibrations through the accelerator pedal and prevents sudden acceleration if it detects an imminent collision.
The Japanese car maker says it will equip a range of models with Honda Sensing after it debuts in the fifth-generation Legend in the coming weeks.
The technology will make its way to Australia soon, though not in the new Legend, as Honda has no plans to bring the all-new luxury sedan to our market following slow sales of the outgoing fourth-generation model. The 2015 Honda CR-V - due here in December - is expected to bring a number of Honda Sensing technologies.
The new Legend sold in Japan will be a right-hand-drive version of the Acura RLX that’s currently available in North America.