TOKYO (AP) - Honda Motor Co. has developed a new computerized radar system that warns drivers of an impending crash with slight braking and a tweaking of the seat belt.
The "collision mitigation brake system'' will be offered on the most expensive model of the new Inspire sedan that goes on sale for 3.5 million yen (US$30,000) in Japan Thursday, Honda officials said Wednesday.
There are no plans to export the feature or the Inspire so far, but Japan's No. 2 automaker hopes the anti-collision system will some day become standard on all Honda models.
Japan's biggest automaker, Toyota Motor Corp., recently came out with a similar pre-crash braking system, which is offered as an option for a luxury model sold only in Japan. Sales have been limited with less than 90 sold so far.
The Toyota system, which brakes and tightens the seat belt ahead of a crash, does not go on until the driver first steps on the brakes.
Honda's system is unique in working even before the driver responds.
A radar in the front of the car stashed behind the "H'' logo detects vehicles within a range of about 100 meters (300 feet) ahead.
The system initially pulls on the seat belt and brakes slightly to warn the driver. A buzzer also goes off and a small light flashes on the dashboard.
If the driver steps on the brakes, another system kicks in to strengthen the power of the brakes.
If the driver fails to respond, the car brakes more and tightens the seat belt further to soften the blow of the crash. - AP