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I'm looking at buying a 2016 Honda Civic, particularly one with Honda Sensing, being a tech person and living in a traffic-dense area. My interests in Honda Sensing would be (correct me if this is unreasonable):
  1. Being able to utilize the stock Honda Sensing benefits on its own, though I'm unsure if this includes Honda updating its firmware over time as the system/logic is improved + refined

  2. Being able to "mod" or "upgrade" it outside of Honda, along the lines of something like OpenPilot/comma.ai, though I'm unsure if this would even be possible
Does Honda improve or update Sensing over time (on already-manufactured cars)? Or is it basically whatever Sensing "brain" your car had when it left the lot, that's the brain/capability it has for life?

If Sensing can be upgraded/updated, can this be done without Honda's help as a user/community improvement, or is it a pretty much a closed box that only Honda has the access to? TIA
 

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As far as I know they don’t update the sensing or infotainment except with bug fixes. There is little incentive for them to do so these days; updating or upgrading the technology is heading up the ladder of reasons why consumers trade in for new cars these days. If they offer continuous updates then there is much less incentive to throw down $22k-$28k for a shiny new Civic.

The Sensing is okay, I have some of the features turned off. Lane mitigation doesn’t work well, particularly at night, in the rain or snow, and if your window is dirty. The adaptive cruise control is nice but it spends a lot of time running the car’s brakes to maintain a speed. Collision avoidance works well when it activates, though it will scare the **** out of you the first time you feel it.

Sensing was optional on the 2016-2018 Civic and became standard in 2019, at least on the EX model and up. When it was an option it was $1000 and many cars were built with it, but it was also dealer installed on a lot of cars. I’ve been told that there are subtle differences between the “born with” and “added in” variants, but not what those variations are.

Final verdict: as someone who’s owned a 2017 Hatch (no sensing) and a 2019 Sedan (Sensing), I wouldn’t let it be the thing that kept me from buying a car I liked. If you don’t have it you won’t miss it so don’t make it a prerequisite, but don’t elect to not buy a specific car because it has sensing installed.

Mike
 
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