Traffic accidents are an unfortunate reality, and what may be most frustrating about these sometimes fatal incidents is that they can often be avoided. Honda has a plan to help cut down on accidents in one specific and common road feature: intersections.
The Japanese auto manufacturer is introducing, in a limited capacity, its “Smart Intersection” technology, that could help cut down on accidents that take place where roads cross paths. The company is launching a test run of the technology in partnership with the city of Marysville, Ohio, as part of its 33 Smart Mobility Corridor project.
Honda’s “Smart Intersection” tech primarily address shortcomings in existing sensors found in most cars. It adds a significant amount of vision to a vehicle by utilizing proprietary object recognition software and intersection-mounted cameras that provide a 360-degree image of action on the street up to 300 feet away. The cameras can communicate that information directly to the vehicles.
With the information provided by the cameras (Honda calls it “vehicle-to-everything” communication, or V2X), the cars suddenly have the ability to virtually see around corners and through structures that would otherwise block their vision. This provides the vehicle the opportunity to preemptively identify any potential obstacles or threats and warn drivers in advance so they can avoid the issue.
“Honda believes that V2X technology is an essential component of a smarter and safer transportation ecosystem and can play a role in our dream for a zero-collision society,” Ted Klaus, vice president of strategic research at Honda R&D Americas, said in a statement. “By partnering with the City of Marysville and the State of Ohio, we believe this research will give us a better understanding of how V2X technologies can be further advanced and most effectively deployed for the benefit of all road users.”
Honda’s decision to target intersections makes sense; the company said that roughly 40 percent of all auto collisions — and nearly 20 percent of the 35,000 traffic-related deaths that occur in the United States each year — take place at intersections. Autonomous cars aren’t immune to these types of accidents, either. Cutting down on those incidents would not only save car owners from unfortunate accidents but will also save lives.
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