Last week Honda CEO, Takahiro Hachigo, held a press conference to outline elements of the company’s Vision 2030.
As part of the plan, the company is hoping to have a personal use level four autonomous vehicle on the market by around 2025.
A level four self-driving vehicle can be driven by a human, but can operate in all situations by itself. If it encounters a circumstance it can’t handle, the car will ask for driver intervention, but if that isn’t forthcoming, it will safely park itself.
Prior to that, Honda plans to have technology available by 2020 that will enable its cars to operate autonomously across multiple lanes on motorways and highways.
The company will also introduce a self-driving mode, which will “free the driver from the need to monitor their surroundings while the vehicle is experiencing traffic congestion”.
Honda says the aim of its self-driving tech is threefold. Firstly, it wants a world where there are no motoring accidents. The automaker is also keen to give everyone the freedom of mobility, as well as create “travel time and cabin space that make mobility fun for people”
In Honda’s view, the Vision 2030 plan, and the company’s renewed focus on mobility, robotics, artificial intelligence and energy solutions, are key to Honda surviving as “a company society wants to exist”.
In the nearer term, Honda has released some details about the 10th-generation Accord, which goes on sale in the US later this year. It has also confirmed two EVs currently under development, with sales beginning in 2018.