Last week Honda demonstrated two experimental safety technologies aimed at reducing the potential for collisions between automobiles and pedestrians and between automobiles and motorcycles. These advanced Vehicle-to-Pedestrian (V2P) and Vehicle-to-Motorcycle (V2M) technologies, while still in the research and testing phase, demonstrate Honda’s vision to advance safety for all road users, including pedestrians and motorcycle riders, as well as automobile occupants. These new technologies are part of a comprehensive effort being undertaken by Honda to develop leading-edge safety and driver assistive systems that can help predict and avoid traffic accidents through advanced sensing and communications technologies.
“While these are still experimental technologies, they provide a strong indication of the future potential for the kinds of advanced collision sensing and predictive technologies Honda is developing to further reduce the potential for serious accidents, injuries and even fatalities,” said Jim Keller, chief engineer for Honda R&D Americas, Inc. “These V2P and V2M systems are part of Honda’s broad vision for smarter and safer vehicles and roadways.”
Honda also has been conducting advanced research into Vehicle-to-Vehicle (V2V) and Vehicle-to-Infrastructure (V2I) systems and is a partner in the Connected Vehicle Safety Pilot Program conducted by the U.S. Department of Transportation, including the Department’s Safety Pilot Model Deployment test program, currently underway in Ann Arbor, Michigan. There are eight Honda vehicles participating in the test program.
Vehicle-to-Pedestrian (V2P) Technology
Honda R&D has successfully demonstrated the ability of a car equipped with Dedicated Short Range Communications (DSRC) technology to detect a pedestrian with a DSRC enabled smartphone. This vehicle-to-pedestrian (V2P) technology uses cooperative communication between an individual’s smartphone and nearby vehicles and provides auditory and visual warnings to both the pedestrian and drivers. The system is designed to mitigate the potential for a collision between the vehicle and pedestrian.
Using the pedestrian’s smartphone GPS, its dynamic sensing capability and DSRC wireless technology in the 5.9GHz band, the pedestrian’s smartphone and nearby vehicles establish a communications channel to determine if the pedestrian is in danger of being struck by an oncoming car. The V2P system is effective even when the pedestrian is not easily detectable by the driver, such as when stepping off a curb from behind a parked vehicle or other traffic obstruction.
A proprietary smartphone application determines the position, direction and speed of the pedestrian and, using DSRC technology, the position of surrounding vehicles. In the event of an impending collision as determined by the smartphone application, the system alerts the pedestrian via a repeating, high-volume beep and a warning on the screen of their smartphone. At the same time, the system alerts the driver to the potential collision with an audible alarm and visual warnings on the vehicle’s heads-up display and navigation screen. In addition to the basic safety warnings, the vehicle can also receive information on whether the pedestrian is texting, listening to music, or on a phone call.
Honda Pedestrian Safety Technology
Honda has been a leader in the research and application of advanced pedestrian safety designs, including development of Polar II, the world’s most advanced pedestrian safety crash test dummy. Pedestrian accidents account for approximately 13 percent of the 33,000 traffic fatalities that occur each year in the U.S. and an even higher percentage of traffic fatalities in many other countries with denser populations and more foot traffic. For more than a decade, Honda and Acura vehicles have been applying advanced pedestrian safety features, such as collapsible hood hinges and breakaway windshield wiper pivots, that can contribute to life-threatening head injuries in pedestrian collisions.