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Honda Begins Testing Autonomous Vehicles at California Navy Base

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 4/2/2015 Kelly Pleskot

Honda has begun testing self-driving vehicles and connected car technologies at the Concord Naval Weapons Station, a retired military base just east of San Francisco.

Research

The automaker is bringing modified versions of the Acura RLX to a 5000-acre site inside the naval station called the "GoMentum Station." This proving ground consists of 20 miles of paved roadways with buildings and other infrastructure to mimic a typical city. Since it is part of a military base, it is not accessible to the public.

Acura RLX Automated Car© Provided by MotorTrend Acura RLX Automated Car "The Concord Naval Weapons Station is an ideal proving ground to augment Honda's research and development efforts because it is a controlled environment that can be continuously modified to represent a wide array of settings that an automated vehicle must navigate, especially for urban operation," said Paul Cummings, a manager for automated vehicle research for Honda's U.S. R&D, in a release. The facility, which Mercedes-Benz has also used for its autonomous car research, is also very close to Honda's R&D center in Mountain View, Calif.

This is far from Honda's first rodeo when it comes to automated cars. At a connected car conference in Detroit last September, the company showed off a self-driving vehicle that was able to merge onto a freeway, change lanes, and exit the road on its own accord. The automaker also demonstrated a unique vehicle-to-vehicle technology that allows a driver to assist another driver in distress. With this technology, an assisting driver can virtually "tow" another vehicle by providing driving cues to the distressed vehicle through automated technology. Other early-stage automated driving technologies Honda has introduced include Adaptive Cruise Control with Low-Speed Follow, collision mitigation braking, and road departure mitigation.

Source: Honda, Automotive News (Subscription required)

Acura RLX Automated Car© Provided by MotorTrend Acura RLX Automated Car
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