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Honda Australia to standardise active safety by 2022

Safe and sound: Each next-generation Honda model launched in Australia will come with Honda Sensing advanced driver-assist safety technologies as standard.

Advanced driver-assist technology to filter through Honda Australia model line-up

22 May 2018

HONDA Australia has announced that it will standardise its Honda Sensing advanced driver-assist safety technologies across all next-generation models by 2022, while some might receive the suite before their next full model changeover.
The first next-generation model to receive Honda Sensing, possibly the Jazz light car, will hit local showrooms in 2020, while the final, unknown cab off the rank is set to touch down in 2022.
However, speaking to journalists in Melbourne last week, Honda Australia director Stephen Collins revealed that the company is considering adding Honda Sensing to current-generation models, likely including the Civic small car and CR-V mid-size SUV.
“We’re still working through where we can take other opportunities,” he said. “If we can take an opportunity at a model year change, or some other point, we will take that. (However), that will vary model by model.”
When questioned if the addition of Honda Sensing would increase pricing, Mr Collins explained that the company was aiming to minimise the financial impact.
“This is not inexpensive technology to put in a Jazz base model, nor any other model for that matter,” he said. “We’re still working through that, but our commitment is to stay with value for money … and run with the full kit.”
Mr Collins added that the company will attempt to balance high levels of value and safety, in line with its philosophy of having the best overall offering in the market.
“Honda is committed to bringing cars to the Australian market that are as competitively priced and value packed as possible, and having the very best in safety technology is one of our highest priorities,” he said.
“Honda is well known for its excellence in engineering, and while we are not first to market with this technology, we strive to ensure we are best to market.
“I’m confident that our Honda Sensing package will provide Australian consumers with a system that is intuitive and effective in its role of driver assistance.”
Honda Sensing consists of forward collision warning, autonomous emergency braking, pedestrian detection, adaptive cruise control with stop and go functionality, lane departure warning, lane-keep assist and steering assist.
More than 20 per cent of current model variants are already fitted with Honda Sensing, including the Civic VTi-LX sedan and hatch, CR-V VTi-LX, Odyssey VTi-L, and Accord VTi-L and V6L.
Mr Collins said that while active safety features were increasing in popularity, not every new-car buyer understood their capabilities.
“Australian new-car buyers are becoming increasingly aware of the latest safety technology in vehicles across the board, but there is confusion on how they work,” he said.
To prove this, Honda Australia commissioned a survey of 1200 new-car buyers intending to purchase in the next two years, and it found that the local market required education on the importance and benefits of safety technologies such as the Honda Sensing suite.
While most new-car buyers showed a general understanding of airbags, anti-lock brakes and safe body structures, their knowledge of newer safety technologies was low.
For example, lane departure warning, lane-keep assist and blind-spot monitoring were identified by 12 per cent of new-car buyers surveyed, while forward collision warning and autonomous emergency braking were identified by 10 per cent.
However, once new-car buyers had the safety technology explained to them, their interest increased significantly, which Mr Collins says is an endorsement of Honda’s rollout strategy.
“It’s clear that if you’re talking about the customer – and Honda is focusing on this – you have to approach this type of safety technology with a customer education message,” he said.
“With this knowledge, we plan to stagger the rollout of Honda Sensing and, at the same time, educate customers, ensuring they walk the journey with us and understand how Honda Sensing will complement their driving experience.”

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