Self-driving cars are almost certainly the future, but very few people can agree about when we’ll reach that future or exactly what it will look like. Despite performing better than human drivers, self-driving cars still garner a lot of safety concerns. Like virtually ever other automaker, Honda is working to make that technology as safe as possible, and they’ve built a driverless shopping cart to market it.
Honda’s semi-autonomous driver aid safety technology is called SENSING, and they recently partnered with Isobar and Dentsu to create an ad that illustrates how that technology works in a setting we’re all familiar with. The ad shows a mother and daughter in a supermarket, shopping while pushing around the Honda Sensing Cart. As they traverse the aisles, the cart automatically brakes to avoid collisions, steers itself, and even drives forward as the checkout line moves.
Isobar, who built the Honda Sensing Cart, doesn’t go into much detail about the hardware involved. They do, however, mention that it uses Arduino development boards and a Raspberry Pi-controlled braking system. In addition, there are proximity sensors and cameras to help it navigate. There aren’t any details about the software used, but it is, presumably, some heavily modified version of Honda’s own SENSING software.
The Honda Sensing Cart definitely isn’t intended to be an actual product, and it was created solely for this ad. The goal is, of course, to help familiarize people with semi-autonomous driving technology and to make the general public more comfortable with it in the long term. If we’re ever going to have completely self-driving cars, ad campaigns like this are a pretty good idea.