Acura introduces new RLX autonomous test vehicle, with smaller sensors image

The Japanese premium automaker is doing its own autonomous testing and has now introduced the second generation of the driverless test vehicle, which comes with updated components.

Acura is just one of the many automakers and technology companies doing research into autonomous cars and the brand has come up with updated technology for the new version of its RLX Sport Hybrid SH-AWD test sedan. The second-generation self-driving prototype comes with completely revised software and hardware, allowing engineers to set up “more complex testing scenarios.” Just like before, the RLX test bed will pack radar and lidar sensors to “see” the position and speed of other vehicles and obstacles, while cameras will be in charge of determining the size and type of surrounding objects, with the GPS for navigation. The RLX now has more powerful processors than its previous iteration, complete with better heat management and more compact cables and circuitry, according to the automaker.

Additionally, an obvious modification are the more compact roof-mounted sensors compared to the predecessor. Acura is working out its RLX at GoMentum Station near San Francisco, a 5,000-acre facility with 20 miles of paved roadways designed specifically for testing autonomous and connected cars. Acura and its parent Honda also have a partnership with the MCity autonomous car-testing center belonging to the University of Michigan. “We’re targeting 2020 for the introduction of highly automated vehicles on U.S. highways,” said not long ago American Honda Motor Co. executive vice president John Mendel.