Honda is bringing its vision of the future to this year’s Consumer Electronics Show, and it’s... kind of strange. It’s calling its newest concept car the Augmented Driving Concept, and it’s basically an occasionally-manual-control autonomous car. Which sounds... kind of strange.
According to Honda, the concept responds to its user’s “curiosity”—whatever that means—to determine when the car should take over control from the driver.
Here’s a little more from Honda on how that’s supposed to work:
The driving system changes between automatic and manual mode with a switch, and features more than eight modes between fully autonomous and semi-autonomous operation. Various sensors in the vehicle continuously read the user’s intention to smoothly shift between these modes, creating an instinctive driving experience.
Given the fact that the interior of this thing is bare as hell and that it also definitely looks like a concept, which means we probably won’t see this exact thing in actual production.
One thing that might make it into your everyday car, though, is the so-called ‘reinvented steering wheel,’ which honestly sounds kind of cool. If you pat the steering wheel twice, for example, the car will start. Pull the wheel, and it’ll slow down. Push it, and it will accelerate.
Basically, the whole point of this thing is to enable drivers control over their own car when they want to drive while still using autonomy as a fallback option when it realizes you aren’t paying attention.
I have to say that I, personally, am a fan of the whole pedal control thing, especially considering the fact that a hardcore jam session on my part might mean the wheel gets pulled back and forth more than it normally would. Maybe in the future I can look forward to hands-free jamming in the driver’s seat.