Japanese car manufacturer Honda has developed an automatic braking system that detects pedestrians and will slow down or stop entirely if there is a chance you will hit someone. The system works up to a speed of 60kph (37mph) and will be implemented in cars this year.

The Japanese Legend luxury sedan will feature the technology when it is launched in late 2014, and a global rollout is believed to follow on strategic new vehicles in the brand's line-up.

Honda claims that this is the first system designed solely to detect pedestrians, but there are other collision detection technologies from other car manufacturers. Volvo has been demonstrating its system for four years. However, the original version could only detect people of a height of 80cm and above. It is not clear if the Honda tech has similar limitations.

It works by combining signals received through millimeter wave radar sensors and cameras and the ultimate goal for Honda and other manufacturers is to utilise this form of technology with other intelligent driving systems to build commercially viable self-driving cars. It is speculated that the first of these could become available as soon as 2020.