Honda to Test Self-Driving Cars at Former U.S. Military Base

Apr 01, 2015 03:28 PM EDT | Matt Mercuro

Honda has announced that it will test self-driving vehicles and technologies on private roads at a former U.S. naval facility outside San Francisco.

The Japanese automaker will test prototype versions of its Acura RLX sedan that was designed with cameras and sensors to be used on future autonomous vehicles, according to a Honda release.

There are 20 miles of paved roads at the formal naval base so testers will have plenty of room to drive around, and it won't be open to the public to watch.

Both Honda and Mercedes are using the former Concord Naval Weapons Station facility to develop and test out driver-assistance technologies in order to improve safety features. Automakers are expected to start introducing self-driving cars in five to 10 years, but those technologies are being introduced slowly already like adaptive cruise control.

Companies like internet giant Google to supplier Delphi Automotive have been testing self-driving vehicles on public roads. Companies like Tesla and General Motors are also pushing to release a self-driving car by 2020.

Honda is a partner in the University of Michigan's Mobility Transformation Center set to open a similar testing spot called "M City" later on this summer.

M City is a 32-acre facility that will be located on the University of Michigan's North Campus and will include sidewalks, roundabouts, intersections and traffic signs. Simulated pedestrians, cars, buildings and other obstacles will put the vehicle systems to the test, according to a university release.

Roadway construction was finalized back in December and the facility should have its formal opening this July.

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