Honda wants to be a player in the autonomous vehicles market.
Reuters is reporting that Honda has received the green light from California to test driverless vehicles on public streets — the same public roads where Google self-driving cars are already testing the technology.
Just because Honda received the approval, doesn't mean the manufacturer will go ahead with building a self-driving car — although that may happen sometime in the near future. For now, though, the permit simply gives Honda space on California roads to test the technology.
The California Department of Motor Vehicles listed Honda as the latest addition to the 10 auto manufacturers that have recently received self-driving permits. Other companies approved for autonomous driving on California roads are Mercedes-Benz, Tesla, Nissan and BMW.
Honda has been using an advanced driver-assistance system in its Honda and Acura models, bridging the gap between current technology and driverless cars. Honda Sensing technology, which uses camera and radar sensors to sense the road and objects in it, has already been in use for nearly a year. The same can be said for AcuraWatch, which provides similar sensing abilities to all Acura models.
A Honda spokesperson also told Reuters that the company has secured an autonomous testing facility northeast of San Francisco in Concord, where its cars will receive initial testing before hitting public roads.
How long will it take before more car companies apply for a similar permit and join the unavoidable autonomous driving market?