What is Honda Sensing?

Liz Kim | Aug 17, 2020

Honda Sensing is a collection of driver assistance and collision avoidance technologies that Honda says is “designed to alert you to things you might miss while driving,” and points to the automaker’s imagined future which includes a vision of “a collision-free society.” It’s included in most new Honda vehicles, with just a few exceptions.

Honda Sensing Pedestrian Detection Test

What does Honda Sensing include? - Find the best Honda deals!

Honda Sensing includes adaptive cruise control, a Collision Mitigation Braking System, lane-departure warning, a Road Departure Mitigation System, and lane centering assistance. With adaptive cruise control, some Hondas also offer low-speed follow, which gives the vehicle stop-and-go capability in heavy traffic.

The Collision Mitigation Braking System uses cameras and radar to warn a driver about obstacles ahead and, if necessary, take action to avoid a collision or reduce vehicle speed at the time of impact. In standard terminology, it includes forward collision warning with pedestrian detection and an automatic emergency braking system. If the system detects that a collision is imminent, it alerts the driver with audible and visual warnings, and vibrates the right pedal. If the driver’s reaction to these warnings is insufficient, it will automatically apply the brakes.

Lane departure warning lets a driver know when the vehicle has drifted over a lane marking without using the turn signal to indicate a lane change. If the driver fails to take corrective action, the Road Departure Mitigation System engages. This is Honda’s name for lane keeping assistance, and it employs braking and corrective steering to prevent lane drift. Drivers can overcome this automated input when desirable, such as when passing a cyclist on a narrow road. The Road Departure Mitigation System can also detect when a vehicle is about to leave the paved road surface and can take corrective action to try to prevent this from happening.

Meanwhile, adaptive cruise control automatically maintains your vehicle’s speed like a regular cruise control system, but if there is traffic in front of you, it will adjust to the speed of traffic ahead, maintaining a set distance between you and the vehicle in front of you, braking and accelerating as necessary. Models with the latest Honda Sensing technology also offer low-speed following and stop-and-go capability for heavy traffic situations.

Some Honda models also include Traffic Sign Recognition as part of their Honda Sensing suite. This technology uses a camera that can read speed limit and stop signs, and projects that information within the instrumentation or, for cars that are so-equipped, onto the head-up display. The refreshed 2021 Odyssey minivan is an example of a Honda model including this technology.

Also new for the 2021 Odyssey minivan, a new front radar unit gives the vehicle an upgraded pedestrian emergency braking feature.

What about blind-spot warning? - Find the best Honda deals!

Blind-spot warning technology with rear cross-traffic warning is not a part of Honda Sensing. These are separate upgrades, and they are not available on all Hondas either due to model availability or trim level.

On a positive note, Honda is phasing out its camera-based LaneWatch system, which showed only what was in a vehicle’s right-side blind spot. Increasingly, modern Hondas offer a traditional radar-based blind-spot warning and rear cross-traffic warning system. Typically, however, they are unavailable on base trim levels.

What Honda models have Honda Sensing?  - Find the best Honda deals!

For 2020, Honda Sensing is included as standard equipment in all Honda models except for the base trim level of the Fit hatchback, HR-V small crossover SUV, and Odyssey minivan. For 2021, the Fit is discontinued, while the refreshed Odyssey does include it as part of the standard features list. 

That means the HR-V LX will be the only 2021 model-year Honda without standard Honda Sensing, according to Car and Driver

The information in this article is from Honda and trusted industry resources. It was accurate on August 17, 2020 but may have changed since that date.

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