Acura has taken the wraps off of an RLX prototype that looks almost like what you can buy from one of its dealers—except that this one doesn't require a driver.
This latest RLX prototype is Acura's second foray into the world of autonomous vehicle development. The sedan makes use of updated radar, Lidar, camera, and GPS sensors, all of which is supported by a vastly improved processing system hidden behind the scenes. The sensors themselves are mounted to the RLX's roof almost like they would be on a patrol car.
Acura says it drew inspiration from the automaker's AcuraWatch safety tech suite available on its regular production models. On the automated RLX, the radar sensors are able to judge the car's relative position and velocity of objects (like vehicles) around the car with more accuracy. The cameras, meanwhile, are utilized to detect the size and shape of those objects in order to help identify them.
Together, the two systems will be tested by parent company Honda at the GoMentum Station near San Francisco. GoMentum is a 5,000-acre automated and connected vehicle proving ground with 20 miles of paved roads and simulated buildings and infrastructure.
Honda has been using the grounds of the former Concord Naval Weapons Station to test autonomous cars for some time now. Apple is also thought to be using the grounds for autonomous car development. Below is a video showing an earlier Acura RLX autonomous prototype testing at the facility.