Published: October 22, 2015 | Tokyo, Japan
Honda in collaboration with GM, would put a commercialized self-driving car on the road by 2020, challenging rivals Toyota and Nissan which are also betting on the future of autonomous vehicles. The announcement, ahead of the Tokyo Motor Show next week, comes as Japan’s auto giants step on the accelerator in a bid to race past overseas competitors on the next-generation technology.
Honda, which do not yet have concrete plans for manufacturing driverless car, could benefit from the partnership with GM, which is set to roll out driverless cars in 2017. On the other hand, GM could benefit from Honda’s high-level technical expertise in hybrids.The collaboration would also cut down development time and increase competitive.
Honda and GM are considering expanding the scope of cooperation in research and development to include self-driving technologies and other areas, a Honda spokesman said today.
Honda and GM came together in 2013 to work on a system for fuel cell vehicles (that emit only water vapour), which they plan to release under their own brands in 2020, after Honda’s planned launch of its independently developed fuel cell car in 2016.
Earlier this month, Toyota unveiled a vehicle that can drive itself along a highway, with plans for a 2020 rollout.
The car, a modified Lexus GS, uses sophisticated sensors to navigate roads, merge lanes and overtake other vehicles. In its current incarnation, the car only switches to fully automated mode once it reaches the less frenetic confines of a highway and passes a sensor.