Honda’s Self-Driving Cars Set To Hit California Streets

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Smart vehicles from Japanese manufacturer get DMV approval to join those from Google and other car makers

Honda has received approval to begin testing its self-driving vehicles on public streets as the Japanese auto maker becomes the latest company to move forward with smart car development.

The California Department of Motor Vehicles on its website listed Honda as the most recent of 10 companies that had received the self-driving permits as of Friday, Reuters reported.

Other companies already approved include Mercedes Benz, Tesla, Nissan and BMW, which could all soon have vehicles rubbing shoulders with Google’s smart cars (pictured below) on California streets.

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googleThe approval marks the next step in Honda’s car development in the area, as the company already has a secure testing facility northeast of San Francisco, where autonomous cars can be tested before being unleashed on public roads.

Honda is also one of several major automotive makers signed up to use Google’s Android Auto software in future cars, joining the likes of Audi and Hyundai.

This will allow cars running the software to connect to a user’s Android smartphone, allowing them to access apps like Google Maps by voice, steering wheel controls or a touchscreen on the dashboard.

Smart car research is becoming an increasingly popular area of investment for auto manufacturers, as they try and keep ahead of the trend and out-do each other with new developments.

Earlier this week, Toyota announced it was pledging $50 million (£32.75m) of funding into a five-year project researching artificial intelligence that will help future vehicles recognise objects around them, improve their judgement in case of a collision, and improve communication with vehicle occupants, pedestrians, and other cars.

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