Although U.S. buyers will have to wait a while for its arrival here, Honda has confirmed that the all-new Fit subcompact that goes on sale in Japan later this year will offer a new accident-avoidance support feature called City-Brake Active System. It will come bundled as part of a new, comprehensive "Safety Package" that also will be available on the next-gen Fit as well as other upcoming Honda models.
Like a number of similar autonomous systems from other automakers, Honda's City-Brake Active is designed to function in low-speed conditions that are typical of big-city driving environments -- in this case, at velocities below 19 mph. Using input from a laser radar ranging device mounted behind the upper part of the car's windshield, City-Brake Active provides audible and visual warnings when it senses an imminent frontal impact and then automatically applies the brakes if the driver fails to slow down.
The City-Brake Active System also is capable of restraining a potential false start or inadvertent application of the vehicle's accelerator pedal when the car is either stopped or moving less than 6 mph and its senses an obstacle less than 14 feet ahead. In that case, it will follow up the audio/visual signals by taking control of the engine output to restrict the vehicle's forward movement.
There's still no indication as to when - or even if -- this new City-Brake Active System will appear on Honda models here, although it seems virtually certain to find its way to America in the reasonably near future - unforeseen legal liability barriers notwithstanding. Why introduce this kind of sophisticated system on the Fit? In addition to its fortuitous launch timing, a Honda spokesperson pointed out that while the Civic and Accord may be volume leaders here in the U.S., the Fit and its Jazz alter ego -- as well as the soon-to-launch Fit-based crossover SUV -- will be the automaker's number one platform family on a global sales basis.
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