Vehicle autonomy is classified along a 0-5 scale, with 5 indicating essentially total autonomy. The Honda Legend is Level 3. Several automakers have already manufactured vehicles capable of Level 3 autonomy, but few countries have legal frameworks permitting their sale and use.
For now, analysts say automakers are still a long way from a true Level 4 system, in which a car is considered to no longer have a driver, just passengers. Level 5 vehicles would theoretically have no steering wheel or other driver controls and would be capable of handling all terrain types and weather without driver assistance.
Honda launched the world's most advanced self-driving car licensed for the road, releasing an initial batch of 100 models in Japan. The Legend is capable of adaptive driving in lanes, as well as passing and switching lanes under certain circumstances.
Honda's limited release of the Legend will be available only for lease sales. The partially self-driving sedan is priced at 11 million yen ($102,000).
The car also features an emergency stop function in case a driver is unresponsive to handover warnings, and Honda touts extensive safety testing.