Honda’s ‘augmented driving’ concept switches between autonomous and manual by looking at your eyes
Honda reinvents the steering wheel in a new ‘improved’ car concept that switches between autonomous and manual modes by looking at the driver’s eyes
- The improved Honda driving concept aims to combine manual and self-driving cars
- The system works by looking at the eyes of a distracted driver
- If the gaze is turned away, the autonomous system of the car comes into effect
- A new steering wheel can be swept to change lanes and moved to either side
- The wheel doubles as an accelerator pedal and a brake that can be pushed or pulled
- The improved drive system is probably still a way to be released
While many car manufacturers are in a hurry to get away from traditional driving in favor of fully autonomous vehicles, Honda holds onto the wheel in a new “improved” experience that combines the best of both worlds.
The concept, shown at CES in Las Vegas, combines several new driving technologies designed to help drivers seamlessly switch between manual and autonomous modes, including a movable steering wheel that also serves as an accelerator and brake.
The wheel, the twisted brake and the accelerator pedal, of which Honda MailOnline gave a simulated demo, are controlled by pulling (braking) or pushing (accelerating) away from the body.
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The improved Honda driving concept was exhibited at CES in Las Vegas and includes various technologies that hope to combine autonomous and manual driving
In a virtual demonstration, MailOnline tested aspects of Honda’s high-tech steering wheel that also serves as an accelerator and brake
It is also equipped with a sensor around the outer ring that can sense the touch of a driver. If the car is autonomous, a passenger can swipe his hand left or right over the steering wheel to change lanes.
It can also turn on the car by double tapping on the top and can be moved from one side to the other, meaning that a person sitting somewhere in the car – left, center or right – can drive.
Perhaps the most intriguing aspect of Honda’s improved driving concept was the inclusion of eye-reading technology that helped to distinguish whether a driver was looking at the road or out of the window with a picturesque view.
This aspect of the Honda concept enables the car to intelligently switch between autonomous and manual modes without ever having to press a button.
In a practical demonstration, MailOnline tested the technology in a virtual simulation.
A Honda representative instructed us to shift our gaze while driving, from the road to a separate side panel where various digital windmills lived.
Without skipping a beat, the car, which was eye-tracking through a sensor embedded in the dashboard, switched from its manual status to an autonomous one.
As an additional safety feature, the car’s steering wheel is also deactivated until sensors assess that the driver’s gaze has returned to the road, a function designed to reduce the possibility of the steering wheel being accidentally pushed.
While it may seem strange for Honda to go to a lot of trouble to maintain manual driving, while most car makers have dumped their resources to get people away from the driver’s seat, a Honda representative told MailOnline that part of the mission was the company is maintaining the voltage. “
“In an autonomous future you can still get that feeling of driving,” said Jaymie Robinson. “Some people still enjoy driving a car and don’t want to give up that task completely.”
Although augmented driving could help bridge the gap between manual and autonomous vehicles, Honda’s concept is still exactly that – an idea.
For the system to work properly, autonomous vehicles will have to reach level 5 – full autonomy – which can be a road.