New Honda Legend due by spring, though US launch unlikely

Honda last week announced plans to unveil a new Legend sedan no later than March 31, 2021.

The new Legend is expected to be an update of the current model on sale in select markets since 2014. The current Legend is basically a rebadged Acura RLX, and while the RLX bows out in the United States after 2020, waning demand for sedans means Honda is unlikely to introduce its new Legend here as a replacement.

All Honda will say about the new Legend is that it will boast a self-driving system for traffic jams rated at Level 3 on the SAE scale of self-driving capability. Level 3 means a car that can handle itself in certain conditions, enabling the driver to let go of the steering wheel and even look away from the road for moments at time.

Level 3 cars require the driver to be ready to take back control at all times. Because of this shortcoming, many automakers are choosing to skip Level 3 and go straight to Level 4 on the scale of self-driving capability. Level 4 means a car that can handle itself in certain conditions for extended periods of time. Another key difference to Level 3 is that a Level 4 car in most cases will be able to safely come to a stop if a driver fails to take back control when required.

Many countries are also holding back regulations to allow Level 3 cars on the road, which is why Audi canceled its original plans to offer a Level 3 self-driving system for traffic jams on its A8.

The most advanced self-driving systems currently on offer rate at only Level 2 on the SAE scale, as they only function in certain conditions and require constant monitoring from the driver. The final goal, a Level 5 car, means a car that can drive at the same level as a human.

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