Self-steering Honda

8 August 2005

Road testers from Channel 4’s 4Car web site and from What Car magazine, among others, have driven a Honda Accord fitted with the Honda Intelligent Driver Support (HiDS) system first announced at the 2003 Tokyo Motor Show.
HiDS is a two-part package: Intelligent Highway Cruise Control (IHCC) is a modern, radar-regulated cruise control system; while Lane-Keeping Assist System (LKAS) is a more advanced variant of the lane-departure monitors that are now appearing on the options lists of most makers.
While most lane assistants merely give a warning when a lane marking is crossed, LKAS is much more proactive. It links to Honda’s electric power steering and actually does most of the work required to keep the car in its lane. It provides 80 percent of the steering input needed, as long as bends in the road don't exceed the gentle curvature common to motorways.
Why not 100 percent? According to What Car, “The driver must apply at least 20 percent of the steering effort to ensure they are still safely and legally in control of the car.”
4Car’s tester was keen, suggesting that the system helped the driver to concentrate on events well ahead of the car.

After just an hour behind the wheel, I found myself relaxing and learning to trust it. You don't worry so much about the positioning of your car within the lane, which allows you to focus on other things. Like signs of erratic driving from the car half a mile ahead, or mobile speed traps.

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