Honda is the latest car manufacturer to try its hand in the use of car-to-car and car-to-infrastructure technology. The Japanese automaker follows other companies in testing a system that will allow vehicles to send and receive information from other vehicles as well as infrastructure and make autonomous driving possible in the near future.
Honda is set to start the public testing of a technology that will enable drivers to avoid traffic lights next month. Public road trials will be held in Utsunomiya City in the Tochigi Prefecture of Japan. Honda will be running the tests with the help of the Tochigi Prefectural Police and UTMS Society of Japan.
The carmaker will be testing the ‘Universal Traffic Management System,’ which shares similarities with the technology that luxury brand Audi unveiled at the 2014 Consumer Electronics Show. The system will inform drivers through the onboard display what they need to know if they will be passing through traffic lights.
If the car is to pass through a green light, the system will inform drivers the recommended speed to reach the intersection before the light changes. If the car will not be able to pass through before the light changes and must need to stop, the system will tell drivers when to slow down so energy can be conserved. If the car is waiting for the light to turn green, the system will then give the remaining time and the advanced notice to stop.
Honda’s system works the same way as the systems developed by other automakers. It functions with the transmission of information between vehicles—the vehicle and the driver receive information from other vehicles in order to travel efficiently through the same environment. The system will also require traffic information from the authorities to be passed onto the vehicles.
The main goal of the system is to save fuel by preventing sudden acceleration and deceleration, as well as to improve traffic flow in urban areas.
The public road testing will let Honda find out how the system will work in public roads. The tests will also allow the company to see how the system is using production vehicles.
Honda’s public testing, which will involve approximately 100 vehicles, will consist of five routes in the test city. In order to get realistic feedback on the practicality of the technology on public roads, the automaker has chosen routes which are frequented by commuters. The data to be derived from the testing will reveal whether the technology is indeed effective in improving traffic flow and fuel economy, as well as reducing emissions, without the need to physically alter the vehicle.
The news of Honda’s tech testing comes after Volvo announced it has started testing a car-to-car technology that will allow vehicles to communicate road conditions not only to other cars but also to authorities. If there is a slippery patch on the road, cars will send real-time data to warn other cars nearby before they approach the dangerous part of the road. In addition, information will also be transmitted to road administrators so they can perform road maintenance immediately.
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