Ohio will be the testing ground for the new technology.
External vehicle cameras have made a host of new features and technologies possible. In cars like the new Genesis G90, cameras can scan the road ahead and adjust the suspension for a more comfortable drive. Cameras can also be used when parking, to scare off thieves, or to avoid collisions by detecting and alerting the driver of potential hazards.
Now, Honda is using cameras, other sensors, and GPS coordinates in a way that won't just benefit Honda drivers, but everyone else on the road as well. It's a pilot road condition monitoring system that monitors lane markings and identifies when they're in need of repair so that the issue can be quickly attended to.
Developed by the Honda Research Institute, the monitoring system can help road operators keep track of lane markings and quickly repair those that are damaged or aged.
The pilot program is taking place in Ohio and, using cameras, the connected Honda vehicle will classify left and right lane markings according to green, yellow, red, and grey color codes. Green and yellow represent ideal or good lane marking conditions, red indicates lane markings that need repair, and grey is used when no lane lines are detected. The information is then sent to the relevant road operators, along with accurate coordinates and even still images, so that repairs can be conducted as quickly as possible.
For Honda drivers, the benefit is that the vehicle's driver-assist systems can also capture this information and alert the driver if approaching a zone where invisible or damaged road markings are expected.
Jack Marchbanks, Director of the Ohio Department of Transportation, admitted that addressing faded or damaged road markings is "labor-intensive" and that the department was "excited to work with Honda to improve the process."
This is a brilliant extension of existing safety systems fitted to vehicles and underlines Honda's commitment to safety technologies. The brand already has a car with Level 3 autonomous capability in Japan with its Legend sedan, which was sold in the US as the Acura RLX. Honda is also aiming for zero fatal traffic collisions by 2050.