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Honda set for active safety standardisation by 2020

Common sense: Honda offers its Honda Sensing safety suite on VTi-LX variants of its just launched new-generation CR-V.

Every Honda will have full-suite collision mitigation and safety systems above AEB

Honda logo31 Jul 2017

HONDA Australia has revealed that it intends to make every possible driver-assist and collision-avoidance safety system standard in each model it sells from the cheapest Jazz upwards within the next two years.

While acknowledging that it lags behind rivals such as Mazda and Volkswagen in only offering Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) in the most expensive version of models such as the latest Civic, HR-V and CR-V, the company says it hopes the move to democratise every available safety feature regardless of pricing by the end of this decade will make amends in the eyes of critics and consumers.

This means technologies that most mainstream car-makers charge extra for such as active lane keeping and adaptive cruise control, where available, will be included from base variants of all Honda models come 2020.

The delay, according to Honda Australia director Stephen Collins, is tied to the different life cycle points that varying models are at, with older models such as the 2014-vintage Jazz light car not engineered to accept the latest suite of driver-assist safety features.

“We’re working through it,” Mr Collins told GoAuto at the launch of the latest-generation Honda CR-V in Canberra late week. “I can’t give you an exact timeline because it will vary model by model, but currently we’re not able to separate AEB from the full Honda Sensing kit, which is a whole host of safety technologies.

“(But) we’ve taken the decision that we want to introduce Honda Sensing across our range as quickly as possible. That will vary by model… and standardising it. Some of it will take model changes, so I think it will be over the next couple of years where we will have it from our entry models right up to our top models. We’re working on a road map for that introduction and so some models will take longer than others.”

Mr Collins said that the difficulty in separating out some technologies from the full suite meant an all-or-nothing approach to the technology was developed.

“Because we cannot separate AEB from the full suite, we haven’t been able to put it as a stand-alone thing,” he admitted.

“But we believe the whole Honda Sensing kit which includes Lane Keep Assist and full collision mitigation and so forth goes way beyond the discussion of AEB itself, and as the policy of having safety for everyone, that is the right direction to go.”

Honda is the first mainstream car company to announce such a safety initiative for Australia, beating premium brands such as Audi to the punch.

Meanwhile Mazda was the first to standardise AEB in passenger cars this year with the release of the updated Mazda2 light car, leaving the BT-50 pick-up as the only vehicle in its line-up without it.

Other manufacturers at Mazda’s price points – notably Nissan – are also moving towards full-AEB inclusion.

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