Honda has plans to sell self-driving cars by 2025 and in order to boost their existing tech on autonomous driving, they entered a strategic partnership with China-based Sensetime.
I reported earlier this month that Honda announced plans to not only sell self-driving cars, but to have perfected the tech behind it. According to Honda in an official press release they dropped earlier today (Dec. 7, 2017) in order to boost the combined knowledge and brainpower towards that goal, Honda, like a lot of car companies with a solid foundation in automated driving, have partnered with one of the leaders in deep learning algorithms for self driving cars, China-based Sensetime. Check out one of Honda’s latest vehicles equipped with a rudimentary system of automated driving, not on the level of Tesla, below.
The 5-year contract, which will see Honda through the majority of their goal, combines SenseTime’s strengths in image recognition of moving objects powered by deep learning technologies with Honda’s AI Algorithms for scene understanding, risk prediction, and action planning. With highway driving, taking the back burner to urban area automated driving, Honda aims to tackle the challenges of city driving first before applying that same technology to the open highway.
Honda, being involved in robotics ever since they introduced ASIMO in 2000, will also partner with SenseTime in the field of robotics.
Earlier this year, Honda unveiled a new innovation Lab in Tokyo with a special part of the lab dedicated to robotics, energy, and AI.
As mentioned, Honda is not only planning on a partial self-driving fleet by 2025, but level 4 automation by 2020 which sees the driver safely turn his attention elsewhere without loss of life and limb to the driver or the passengers. With self-driving limited to certain areas, a level 4 automation vehicle must be able to safely abort the trip if the driver does not retake control.
Most major auto manufacturers have bold plans for not just autonomous driving, but alternative energies as well. It’s easy to see the writing on the wall that electrification combined with autonomous driving will be the ultimate goal in the next two decades.