Honda is enhancing its smart car technology with a system that can detect pedestrians and nearby vehicles.
Honda Sensing can automatically detect cars and pedestrians, warn the driver of possible danger and apply brakes when necessary, the automaker said Friday.
The system emits a variety of warnings and corrective action in various situations. If the vehicle strays into an oncoming lane and there's a risk of collision, for instance, it vibrates the steering wheel, then automatically turns the wheel or brakes. It can also produce audio and visual alerts.
Honda Sensing uses two technologies -- a millimeter-wave radar in the grille and a monocular camera inside the windshield -- to track cars and people. The camera can detect objects of interest that are up to 60 meters from the car.
The radar and camera can detect pedestrians on the side of the road and will warn the driver if a collision is imminent, turning the steering wheel in the opposite direction to avoid a crash. Honda said its Pedestrian Collision Mitigation Steering System is the first of its kind.
"The detection angle for the millimeter-wave radar has been expanded by 1.5 times," Honda spokesman said. "Through this technology, we aim to minimize collisions as we aim for zero accidents on the road."
The camera system can also detect traffic signs such as stop signs, speed limits and no-entry signs, and alert the driver when necessary.
The radar and camera will be installed in 2015 Legend models that will go on sale by the end of this year in Japan, with overseas availability to follow.
The move follows Ford's announcement on Thursday of a technology it calls Pre-Collision Assist With Pedestrian Detection.
Slated to debut in the 2015 Ford Mondeo in Europe, the system also uses a combination of radar and camera to issue warnings and intervene when vehicle or pedestrian crashes seem imminent.
While Ford said the system could reduce the severity of or even prevent collisions, "it does not replace the driver and has limitations including nighttime, low and harsh lighting conditions, vehicles moving in a different direction and certain weather conditions."
The know-how joins other Ford driver-assist technologies including lane-keeping, blind spot alerts and active park assist.
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