Honda’s self-driven car to arrive in 2025

Honda’s vision of self-driven cars.
Updated 02 July 2017
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Honda’s self-driven car to arrive in 2025

Honda outlined its plans to develop autonomous cars with Level 4 capability which can drive on city streets by 2025, building on its strategy to take on rivals in the auto market of the future.
Unveiling its midterm vision strategy plan, Honda said it would boost coordination between research and development, procurement and manufacturing to tame development costs, as it acknowledged it must look beyond conventional vehicles to survive in an industry which is rapidly moving into electric and self-driving cars.
Honda has already spelled out plans to market a vehicle which can drive itself on highways by 2020, and the new target for city-capable self-driving cars puts its progress slightly behind rivals like BMW Group.
“We’re going to place utmost priority on electrification and advanced safety technologies going forward,” Honda CEO Takahiro Hachigo said.
Developing new driving technologies, robotics and artificial intelligence-driven services, and new energy solutions also would be key priorities for Honda in the years ahead, the company said.
Honda established a division late last year to develop electric vehicles as part of its long-held goal for lower-emission gasoline hybrids, plug-in hybrids, EVs and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles to account for two-thirds of its lineup by 2030, from about 5 percent now.
By 2025, Honda plans to come up with cars with Level 4 standard automated driving functions, meaning they can drive themselves on highways and city roads under most situations.
Achieving such capabilities will require artificial intelligence to detect traffic movements, along with a battery of cameras and sensors to help avoid accidents.
BMW has said it would launch a fully autonomous car by 2021, while Ford has said it will introduce a vehicle with similar capabilities for ride-sharing purposes in the same year. Nissan is planning to launch a car which can automatically drive on city streets by 2020.


Saudi Aramco seeks to overhaul engines and fuel amid electric vehicle hype

Updated 06 March 2019
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Saudi Aramco seeks to overhaul engines and fuel amid electric vehicle hype

  • Diesel has proven a key cause of health-threatening nitrogen oxide pollution
  • Saudi Aramco is working on gasoline compression ignition which mixes fuel and air more effectively prior to combustion

GENEVA: More efficient fuels and more sophisticated combustion engines are needed to bring down carbon dioxide pollution and to secure the long-term future of Saudi Aramco’s business, the company’s chief technology officer said on Wednesday.
“The growth of transport is greater than the growth of alternative drivetrains,” Ahmad Al-Khowaiter, Chief Technology Officer at Saudi Aramco told journalists at the Geneva car show.
The spike in electric car production in Europe will not offset an overall increase in global greenhouse gas emissions as emerging economies industrialize and buy cars with petrol and diesel engines, Al-Khowaiter said.
“Improving combustion engines is key to sustaining our business in the long term,” he said.
While carmakers have rolled out advances in combustion engine technology, the availability of sophisticated fuels has not kept pace, Al-Khowaiter said.
Diesel became an industry standard more than 100 years ago and has remained popular mainly because it did not evaporate quickly, making it safer to handle during storage and refueling.
“Rudolf Diesel did not consider fuels which evaporated easily. That was an accident of history,” Al-Khowaiter said, referring to the German founder of the diesel engine technology.
But diesel has proven a key cause of health-threatening nitrogen oxide pollution, which is blamed for respiratory diseases, forcing the industry to explore ways to cut emissions.
“We can now optimize the fuel and the engine at the same time. And we can bring it to market by adding another fuel pump at the gas station, just like it is done with higher octane fuels,” Al-Khowaiter said.
“We do the patents on the fuel development to enable the engines to be efficient,” the executive said.
Saudi Aramco is working on gasoline compression ignition which mixes fuel and air more effectively prior to combustion, resulting in lower nitrogen oxide and soot emissions and a 30 percent improvement in fuel economy.
The petrochemicals giant is also helping to develop mobile carbon capture technologies which could be built into next generation passenger cars for around $1,400 per vehicle, and help to cut carbon dioxide emissions.