While the business of carmakers is, well, to make cars, it is also in their interest to ensure that the environment their products are used in will be safe for all – pedestrians, motorcyclists, cyclists, etc. For this reason, the companies also spend some of their R&D time and money developing systems and technology that can be used in public areas to increase road safety and reduce accidents.
Honda, for example, has developed Smart Intersection technology for vehicle-to-everything (V2X) communication which is designed to reduce traffic collisions at roadway intersections, one of the first such deployments of V2X technology in a real-world setting.
Developed in partnership with the City of Marysville in the USA as part of the 33 Smart Mobility Corridor project, the pilot project seeks to address the limitations of on-board vehicle sensors in addressing traffic collisions at roadway intersections.
The Smart Intersection technology, utilizing Honda’s proprietary object recognition software in conjunction with intersection-mounted cameras and V2X communications, allows cars to virtually ‘see through’ and around buildings and walls in virtually all weather conditions to help identify and alert drivers to otherwise hidden hazards.
“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,” said Ted Klaus, Vice-President of Strategic Research at Honda R&D Americas, Inc. “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.”
Four cameras mounted above the traffic lights at each corner of the intersection capture bird’s-eye-view video of surrounding vehicles and pedestrian traffic out to a 90-metre range. Honda’s proprietary image processing software then creates a 360-degree image of the intersection that classifies vehicles and other moving objects, such as pedestrians, motorcycles and emergency vehicles, and broadcasts pertinent information to surrounding vehicles via a dedicated short-range communication signal.
Each connected vehicle’s on-board computer decodes the information and, when necessary, provides both visible and audible alerts to the driver, intelligently supporting them to take corrective action to avoid a potential collision.
Smart Intersection technology is in support of Honda’s pursuit of a zero-collision society. This has already brought forth advanced technologies such as the Honda Sensing, an advanced suite of driver-assist safety technologies.
These technologies can significantly reduce the likelihood or severity of a collision and also serve as a bridge to highly automated vehicles of the future. Honda is targeting 2020 for the deployment of vehicles with highly automated highway driving capability and 2025 for the technological achievement of SAE Level 4 automated vehicles for personal use.