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Honda's new tech to save lives

29 August 2013, 17:01

Imagine getting a warning on your cellphone of an impending collision? Honda could make this a reality as it tests new safety technologies that could help reduce pedestrian and motorcycle deaths by 2020.

Detroit, Michigan - Honda is experimenting with technology by equipping a car and smartphone with wireless short-range communications to alert both driver and pedestrian of an impending collision.


The Detroit News reports that the company is trying to help avoid pedestrian-car crashes, including crashes with a distracted pedestrian, a vehicle backing up and where a driver can’t see a pedestrian because of an obstructed view.

Honda’s chief engineer of advanced technology research, Jim Keller, said: "The system that might be an app one day on a smartphone is capable of interrupting someone who is texting, listening to music or even in the middle of a phone call to give them audible and visual warnings to stop walking or that a vehicle is backing up.

“Drivers are warned through a head-up display that a pedestrian is near.”

He added the technology worked through a special licensed radio band that allows cars to send and receive messages from surrounding vehicles.

“The advantage of dedicated short-range communications is it can see much farther than radar, up to 500m. It covers 360 degrees you and it’s also able to sense vehicles that are obscured from vision,” said Keller.

The DetNews said about 5000 pedestrians are killed in the US a year. There were more than 4600 motorcycle deaths in the US in 2011 and more than half of those involved a collision, according to Honda.

Keller said: “A similar system using dedicated short range communication works to notify drivers that a motorcycle is near, even if the driver can’t see it.”

He said connected vehicle technology could be on the road by 2020.

“But whether a system like Honda’s makes it into new cars will depend on rules the federal government sets around vehicle-to-vehicle communication and whether the technology Honda is using is part of the rules. The communications system also would have to be adopted by cellphone makers,” said Keller.

Keller said the technology would be much cheaper than implementing cameras and other safety systems equipped on vehicles today. “This is a fraction of the cost of one sensor,” he added. 

- Wheels24


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