Honda is working on new tech that will help monitor and report poor road conditions

The carmaker is now working on a new road-condition monitoring system in the US
by Leandre Grecia | Dec 15, 2021
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PHOTO: Honda
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Road safety doesn’t just depend on car technology or pedestrian and driver behavior—road conditions play a role as well. Road imperfections, the lack of signage and road markings, and other similar issues can ultimately be detrimental to the safety of road users.

As part of its efforts to realize its ‘Safety for Everyone’ concept, Honda is now developing a road-condition monitoring system that uses in-car technology to evaluate road conditions, detect possible hazards, and even help road operators monitor lane-marking conditions in an efficient manner.

The Honda Research Institute USA is currently conducting a pilot program in collaboration with the Ohio Department of Transportation to evaluate this system. Equipped Honda cars collect data using GPS coordinates, cameras, and sensors, then the vehicle-generated reports can be shared with road operators. Honda is looking to start providing data in early 2022. The carmaker is also exploring how connected vehicles can access the data to adjust the perception settings of their Honda and Acura vehicles’ advanced driver-assistance systems and warn drivers of faded lane markings.

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“Maintaining good road conditions helps keep everyone sharing the road safe,” said Honda Research Institute scientist and road-condition monitoring system project leader Paritosh Kelkar. “Real-time, high-accuracy roadway data captured from connected vehicles have the potential to improve the process of identifying, reporting, and more quickly repairing hazardous road conditions.”

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The system classifies lane markings depending on their condition using four color codes. Green and yellow indicate ideal to good conditions, gray means no markings are available, and red means the lane markings need repair.

The information is transmitted to operators in the form of images and video clips with corresponding longitude and latitude coordinates. The data is anonymized before it is streamed to a secure platform for analysis and verification.

“We regularly inspect our roadways throughout Ohio and act quickly to address any issues, like faded or damaged pavement markings, that are identified. It’s a labor-intensive process. Good pavement markings are important to the drivers of today and the vehicles of tomorrow,” said Ohio Department of Transportation director Jack Marchbanks. “We’re excited to work with Honda to improve the process.”

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In the hopes that it will help make roads safer for everyone, Honda Research Institute will further develop the system so it can also monitor other types of road conditions. What’s your take on this, readers? Do you think a system like this can prove useful here in the Philippines?

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