Over the past decade we have seen a significant drop in fatalities resulting from automobile collisions due to the increased safety technology that has evolved within the automotive industry. However, the number of deaths resulting from accidents involving vehicles and motorcycles or pedestrians still remains alarmingly high.
Honda believes they have discovered a way to greatly reduce those numbers. They have been testing a new technology that is one part of new intelligent transportation systems. This system provides short-range communications that will alert a driver, through a sound and flashing light alert on a video display on the dashboard, to any unseen or hidden danger that the driver is about to encounter. Pedestrians stepping out from behind a car or a motorcyclist around a bend will no longer be a surprise to an unsuspecting driver.
This trend to discover the most effective way to reduce pedestrian accidents as well as car to car accidents is creating competition between big name auto manufactures and has resulted in reduced insurance rates for those owning the vehicles with this type of technology.
The current camera, radar, sonar and laser sensor systems have very little effectiveness in detecting a person or vehicle that is out of the line of sight. Because of this they only provide a warning time of about three seconds which is not usually enough time to adequately react to the situation. With Honda’s technology, this warning time can be increased to ten seconds which would allow the motorist to safely stop the vehicle before the accident occurs.
The communication system will work through a wireless device similar to Wi-Fi. If all the logistics with Honda itself, other car companies and those responsible for vehicle regulations come together and agree on terms and standards, a small chip will be placed in all future cell phones and motorcycles. These chips will send out a low powered signal that will alert a driver to a hidden pedestrian and indicate a motorcycles path of travel. There would be a wireless receiver placed in the vehicles which constantly monitored for potential obstructions which could result in collision and possibly even be connected to the cars braking system to bring the car to a stop even before the driver is aware of the danger.
Presently, vehicle to vehicle communication technology is already being studied by federal regulators.
The automotive industry is demonstrating great advancement in technology in a very competitive market with a primary goal of eliminating traffic fatalities. Nissan has announced its plans to reveal the first fully autonomous automobile by the year 2020 and hopes to incorporate that technology to all of its products over the next decade.