Drivers move through thousands of intersections every day without an issue. But all it takes is for one driver to become distracted or momentarily confused, and a terrible accident could occur.
Honda wants to dramatically reduce the number of motor vehicle crashes that happen at intersections. According to data from the Federal Highway Administration, that’s as many as 40% of all accidents, including those that involve fatalities. By using Smart Intersection Technology, Honda hopes to give drivers the autonomous information they need to avoid accidents.
What is Smart Intersection Technology?
Smart Intersection technology uses a combination of cameras, mounted above traffic lights at each intersection corner, and proprietary software developed by Honda engineers that can identify hazards like speeding vehicles and pedestrians. Upon approach to a Smart Intersection, an onboard system in each Honda vehicle can instantly receive data about these hazards, interpret what’s happening and alert the driver with visible and audible signals.
Called vehicle-to-infrastructure or vehicle-to-everything communication (V2X), the onboard computer’s rapid identification and analysis of hazards can help drivers avoid accidents by flashing a message on a special heads-up display (HUD) mounted above the dashboard. These messages include:
- alerting the driver about a pedestrian crossing the street
- cautioning the driver to stop for another car that ran a red light
- warning the driver of an emergency vehicle passing through the intersection
Current Smart Intersection and V2X technology are only in the testing phase, but could one day help to shrink the number of vehicle and vehicle-pedestrian accidents that cause injuries and deaths across the U.S.
Where is Smart Intersection Technology Being Tested?
About an hour’s drive northeast of the Dayton, Ohio, metro area, Honda technicians have installed Smart Intersection tech at Fifth and Main Streets in downtown Marysville. At the intersection, buildings and trees make it impossible for a driver to spot a potential issue coming from the cross street — but the V2X system can identify a hazard and alert the driver to prevent an accident.
Both the city of Marysville and the state of Ohio partnered with Honda as part of the 33 Smart Mobility Corridor initiative to make a 35-mile section of U.S. Highway 33 between Dublin and East Liberty safer for drivers. Honda has manufacturing plants in both Marysville and East Liberty, making this area of Ohio an ideal location for testing the new technology. New fiber optic cable along the route helps to quickly collect and disseminate the data to vehicles.
Honda has been testing the technology for nearly a year and offered its first public demonstration of the benefits in early October. Current testing uses a warning system through the HUD display, but future technology could include automatic braking for detected hazards.
Which Vehicles Can Use Smart Intersection Technology?
V2X technology could be utilized by any vehicle with an onboard computer and connectivity to pick up the data. Honda’s first public demonstration of the technology in October used a Honda Pilot SUV, and 20 Pilots are part of an employees-only fleet used for testing purposes.
While Honda is not yet making the technology commercially available — it will require additional testing and many more Smart Intersections equipped with cameras and sensors — the company’s aim is to continue working on the ability to reduce or eliminate crashes and to include that technology in all of its vehicles.
What’s the Future for Smart Intersection Technology?
Unlike Honda’s onboard safety features — including Driver-Assistive Technology like the company’s Collision Mitigation Braking System that slows the vehicle when a hazard is detected or Lane Keeping Assist System that helps you stay centered in your lane — Smart Intersection technology will require a partnership with city and state governments to install cameras and sensors at key intersections, as well as the necessary fiber optic cable for communication if it’s not already in place. These partnerships and the necessary infrastructure funding will take time to implement, and Honda is in the very early stages of showing the world just what is possible for preventing driver injuries and fatalities.
While Honda has taken the initiative in showing the world what’s possible to keep drivers safer, implementation will require a partnership between multiple stakeholders to make this amazing technology a reality. Perhaps soon, drivers from Marysville to Beavercreek to Tipp City and throughout the U.S. will be able to take advantage of Honda’s research into making the operation of a motor vehicle much less risky.
In the meantime, Honda is flooring the competition with its Honda Sensing suite of safety features. Available on all new Honda models, including the Pilot, Honda Sensing is just the first step toward making the road safer. The next? We’ll have to wait and see. Contact your nearest Miami Valley Honda Dealers location to learn more about Honda safety or take a test drive. We have locations throughout Dayton, Ohio and the Richmond, Indiana area.