Making Sense of Honda’s Sensing® Safety Features


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Driving a car used to be easy. As long as you could see over the dash and your feet could reach the pedals, you had a reasonably good chance of arriving at your destination without incident.

Modern roadways are busier, filled bumper-to-bumper with newspaper readers, cell phone fiddlers, makeup putter-onners, and meatball hoagie gobblers swerving in close proximity.

Honda’s high-tech answer to modern, mobile mayhem is a suite of safety features and driver-assistive technologies, collectively named Honda Sensing®. Designed with sensors, alerts, and displays to keep us from bumping into cars or objects in front, behind, or on either side, Honda Sensing has all the angles covered.

Honda employs different sensors and safety features to help avoid each risk. Some of these Sensing technologies may seem to overlap in functionality, and with few vowels, none of their acronyms can be easily pronounced.

Let’s make some sense of which Honda Sensing feature does what, and how the systems work together to keep you safer.

Lane Departure Warning (LDW)

Lane Departure Warning senses your distance between the white or yellow lines, and will warn you with flashing lights and audible alerts if the vehicle is leaving the lane. The system only alerts you when the turn indicator is off. If weather affects the sensor’s ability to see the lanes or if the lanes have faded, Lane Departure Warning may not alert the driver of an unintended lane change.

Lane Keeping Assist System (LKAS)

Unlike LDW’s passive alerts, Honda’s Lane Keeping Assist System will correct your course if the system senses that you are leaving the lane unintentionally. Lane Keeping Assist will steer the car for you, making small corrections to maintain a safe trajectory in the center of the lane. Weather, speed, and factors affecting visibility may prevent the system from triggering. Similar to LDW, Lane Keeping Assist System will only take action if the turn indicator is off.

Road Departure Mitigation System (RDM)

Honda’s Road Departure Mitigation System takes unintended lane changes a step further and detects unintended departures from the roadway. This system will sound an alert, vibrate the steering wheel, and then take corrective action if needed. If no course correction by the driver is detected, the car will steer itself back into the lane, braking if required to correct your course.

Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC)

The days of having to disengage cruise control when approaching a slower vehicle and unable to pass have seen their twilight. Honda’s Adaptive Cruise Control will adjust your speed temporarily, braking if necessary when traffic slows suddenly or a slower vehicle enters the lane.

Collision Mitigation Braking System™ (CMBS™)

Sharing an unfortunate acronym with the Mortgage Backed Securities that panicked a nation and caused a market crash, Honda’s Collision Mitigation Braking System is designed to prevent auto crashes. The system detects when a forward vehicle collision is imminent, sounding an alert and applying brakes much faster than mere mortals could react. CMBS is coupled with the Forward Collision Warning (FCW), which only sounds an alert and flashes a warning. The automated braking feature will only activate when the driver does not react in time.

Honda LaneWatch™

Activating the right turn signal triggers a mirror-mounted camera to display your right flank on the dash display. Honda LaneWatch™ removes the need to take your eyes off the road to see if other vehicles are in your blind spot when changing lanes or turning.

Blind Spot Information System

While LaneWatch will protect your right side by providing a camera view, Honda’s Blind Spot Information System will sound a beep if the vehicle’s sensors detect another vehicle or object in your blind spot and the turn indicator is on. When the beeping stops, the coast is clear. Honda is careful to warn that temperature, inclement weather, and other conditions may affect the performance of some of these systems. When the rubber meets the road, it’s still the driver’s responsibility to drive safely and stay aware of their surroundings. Caveats aside, Honda’s Sensing technology can be like having a sixth sense, or several of them, keeping you safer on the roadways.

Eric Huffman
Eric Huffman

Eric is a freelance writer licensed in Property, Casualty, and Life Insurance.

With over a decade of experience writing on insurance and finance topics, as well as need-based consulting, he brings real-world knowledge to these and other topics.

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