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Honda Is Developing a System That Informs Drivers of the Status of Traffic Lights

Posted April 18, 2014 6:00 PM by Jordan Perch

Honda has announced that it is going to start testing its driving support system, that can help drivers as many green lights as possible. The main goal of this system is to reduce congestion, by enabling a faster traffic flow, with less stop-and-go traffic, resulting in reduced fuel consumption and lower carbon dioxide emissions. In essence, it's pretty similar to Audi's Traffic Light Assist, which the German automaker demonstrated at the CES in Las Vegas last month, but they transmit traffic-light information to vehicles in a different way, and Honda's system has a few additional features that tell the driver exactly how fast they need to go in order to make a green light.

The Driving Support System developed by Honda is part of the Universal Traffic Management System project, conducted by the National Police Agency of Japan, which aims to create a safer and smoother traffic and reduce air pollution, and will be tested in Utsunomiya City, Japan. The main thing that this system is supposed to achieve is ensure a smooth traffic flow at intersections, by utilizing information that it gets from infra-red beacons installed on the roadside, or attached to a traffic light, which are connected to a city's traffic control center, and by monitoring the speed at which a vehicle is moving, and its location.

While you are approaching an intersection, the system will be monitoring the traffic light and will be aware of when it is about to turn green or red. When the light is green, the system calculates whether there is enough time for the driver to make it, in which case, it informs the driver what speed they need to maintain in order to make it before the light turns red, by displaying the recommended speed on the car's dashboard screen.

In case the light you are approaching is red, the system will notify you that you need to slow down, which helps you avoid harsh braking once you get to the light in order to come to a full stop. This way, you can start accelerating and decelerating slowly and early on, depending on whether the light is green or red, which will save you a lot of gas.

In addition to this, once you've stopped at a red light, the system displays a countdown that shows the time that is left until it turns green, so that you can press the gas pedal in time and resume driving, which is another way to ensure a faster traffic flow, considering that many drivers don't pay attention to the signalization while waiting at a red light, and don't continue driving right after it turns green, creating a delay of several seconds.

Honda believes that this system will contribute significantly to improving fuel efficiency and reducing CO2 emissions by eliminating unnecessary acceleration and deceleration. In addition to that, it could enhance traffic safety, too, by making drivers realize that they can't make a green light, which would hopefully prevent them from running red lights, reducing the number of intersection-related crashes. They recently announced the Honda Smart Home project as well, so exciting times come for Honda.

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#1

Re: Honda Is Developing a System That Informs Drivers of the Status of Traffic Lights

04/20/2014 12:16 AM

How does it know what traffic-responsive signals are about to do?

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Re: Honda Is Developing a System That Informs Drivers of the Status of Traffic Lights

04/20/2014 3:32 AM

'....by utilizing information that it gets from infra-red beacons installed on the roadside, or attached to a traffic light...'

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Re: Honda Is Developing a System That Informs Drivers of the Status of Traffic Lights

04/20/2014 10:29 AM

More cost to consumers and tax payers.

I would be happier if the communities would hire better engineers to program the existing lights.

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#4

Re: Honda Is Developing a System That Informs Drivers of the Status of Traffic Lights

04/21/2014 1:42 PM

Timed signals have been around for a long time. The trouble with them is if you try to drive at a speed that changes signals to green, other drivers following get impatient, pass than have to stop at the red signal. You are now the follower and have to adjust your speed accordingly.The system would work if you were the only driver on the road.

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Re: Honda Is Developing a System That Informs Drivers of the Status of Traffic Lights

04/21/2014 2:28 PM

Drivers already have a system to inform them of the state of the traffic lights.
Their eyes... I don't think blind drivers are allowed anywhere...

This is classic ar$e about face engineering. The intelligence should be in the traffic lights.
Most junctions where I live work much more smoothly when the lights are out... says it all.

We have road layouts that could be better designed by an eight year old with a box of Dinky toys (other makes of toy car are available)

Anyhow... the guy in front goes at a recommended speed to just let him get through, leaving you stopped at the red

Del

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Re: Honda's System That Informs Drivers of the Status of Traffic Lights

04/21/2014 3:56 PM

I wonder how roundabouts compare to traffic lights in efficiency, cost, and safety.

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#7

Re: Honda Is Developing a System That Informs Drivers of the Status of Traffic Lights

04/21/2014 8:22 PM

I already know the status. They always turn red just before I get to the intersection.

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#8

Re: Honda Is Developing a System That Informs Drivers of the Status of Traffic Lights

04/23/2014 1:20 AM

Maybe they could send a text to the drivers to let them know the light turned green.

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Re: Honda Is Developing a System That Informs Drivers of the Status of Traffic Lights

04/23/2014 6:52 AM

In our state that should trigger an alarm clock.

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