Germany’s Continental AG provides the Legend’s four-corner radar and long-range radar as well as one of the electronic control units that merges sensor data into an “environment map” of the surroundings of the car. Continental is providing its highest-level automated driving technology to Honda, in part because German brands don’t yet offer Level 3, said Continental Japan CEO Bert Wolfram.
Audi, for example, also has vehicles equipped with Traffic Jam Pilot Level 3 technology, but the German luxury brand has yet to activate this capability. And Honda hasn’t rolled out Level 3 in the US market because it says the infrastructure there is incompatible with its system.
Stellantis announced in December that it would roll out Level 3 hands-free automated driving technology in its cars from 2024. The technology allowing the driver to hand over control to the vehicle is being developed in partnership with BMW, said the car manufacturer. BMW could launch Level 3 technology as early as this year in the next-generation 7 Series premium sedan.
Continental believes in stepping into full autonomy, Wolfram said, and the company is happy to provide such systems to automakers, even for Level 3 systems.
Partnering with Honda on the world’s first Level 3 system is a source of pride, Wolfram said, noting that the environmental modeling required by Honda’s system is “very complex”.
Continental’s collaboration with Honda is part of the supplier’s decision to provide “full stack” products that integrate hardware and software for plug-and-play supply by manufacturers.
Naoto Okamura contributed to this report.