Since being introduced almost 10 years ago, Honda has continued to improve its Honda SENSING suite of integrated active safety systems. With new technologies and better sensor (including cameras) performance as well as faster computer processing power, the capabilities of Honda SENSING have been enhanced considerably.
Last year, the system advanced to Honda SENSING 360 which, as the number signifies, offers 360o coverage, compared to the original system which scanned the front and rear of the car. Having expanded sensing range omnidirectionally around the vehicle enhances safety, especially in situations where traffic approaches from the left or right side.
Now, the company has added new technologies to further enhance 360o sensing and upgraded the system to Honda SENSING 360+. While Honda SENSING 360 removed blind spots around the vehicle by using 5 millimetre-wave radar sensors in front and at each corner of the vehicle to constantly scan the areas, Honda SENSING 360+ helps to reduce driver burden when on a journey.
Honda SENSING 360+ adds a driver monitoring camera and high-definition maps to improve functions to monitor the driver’s condition and to control the vehicle, respectively. The new capabilities which the system has are as follow:5
More advanced lane driving with hands-off capability
While driving on an expressway, the system reduces driver burden by operating the accelerator, brake pedal and steering wheel to assist the driver to maintain proper vehicle speed and stay in the lane even while the driver takes hands off the steering wheel.
The system utilizes high-definition maps and the satellite navigation systems to identify the vehicle position. When there is no car in front of the vehicle, the system drives the vehicle along the middle of the lane while maintaining the pre-set vehicle speed. When there is a car in front, the system follows that vehicle in front while maintaining a proper following distance. For turning, the system detects the curvature of the lane in advance and performs deceleration and acceleration in accordance with the detected curvature to assist the driver in the way that they can drive with a peace of mind.
Active lane change recommendation
The system assesses the vehicle’s surroundings under certain conditions. When it determines a lane change is possible, it notifies the driver. If the driver approves the lane change to pass a slower vehicle, the system first activates the relevant turn signal and then accelerates/decelerates the vehicle to execute the lane change and pass the other vehicle. It will then guide the vehicle back to its original lane at a safe distance away from the vehicle it passed.
Predictive curve departure warning
While expressways can be straight for very long distances, there will still be curves in some sections. Honda SENSING 360+ can detect curves and if deceleration is necessary, there will be a warning to the driver. The system can also assist in the deceleration to reduce the possibility of an incident in which the vehicle leaves the roadway at a curve.
While the vehicle is parked, when the system detects a vehicle approaching from the rear, the indicator on the front pillar or side mirror lights up to alert occupants of an approaching vehicle. Should they intend to open the door, this can help avoid an accident. If the system detects the risk of a collision between the vehicle door and other vehicles passing by, an indicator flashes and an audible alarm sounds to alert the occupants.
Driver emergency support system
While drivers should ensure that their health condition poses no risk while they are driving, it is possible that there might be an unexpected change of condition. This may prevent them from maintaining control of the vehicle. In such a situation, the system can assist in decelerating and bring the vehicle to a safe stop.
The system begins taking action if the driver is unresponsive to requests for a handover (the transfer of control back to the driver). It escalates alarm sounds and urges the driver to respond. If the driver remains unresponsive, the system will initiate deceleration and stop the vehicle. At the same time other road-users around the vehicle will be alerted by the hazard lights and horn that come on.
In areas where there is the service available, the system can also connect to an emergency call centre service in order to notify of the incident and send an alert for rescuers to be despatched to the vehicle’s location.
As with the earlier Honda SENSING systems, Honda will introduce the new system in selected markets first. Eventually, new models in more markets will have it. As can be seen in the Malaysian market, Honda SENSING was first introduced in 2017 with the new CR-V; today, it is available in all the models sold by Honda Malaysia.