Autonomous cars are building up a head of steam. Latest to signal its intentions is Honda, which demonstrated some pretty nifty autonomous-drive tech at the ITS World Congress in Detroit.
Up to now much of the focus has been on retaining control on a specific route or within a specific lane. But, in the real world, drivers have to interact with others – merging with traffic, for instance. Honda’s automated driving technology provides motorway entry, exit and lane change capabilities. There’s also an apparently unique “virtual tow” technology for assisting a driver in distress.
The company is exploring advancements in “V2X” technologies, including vehicle-to-pedestrian/bicycle (V2P/B) and vehicle-to-motorcycle (V2M).
It’s all in the interests of leading to a collision-free society, says Frank Paluch, President of Honda R&D Americas, Inc. As part of that philosophy, Honda has developed advanced driver-assist and early-stage automated driving technologies aimed at improving situational awareness. Their strategies include Lane Departure Warning, Forward Collision Warning, Adaptive Cruise Control with Low-Speed Follow, Collision Mitigation Braking SystemT and Road Departure Mitigation.
Systems such as these combine data from camera and radar sensors. In fact, Honda is to offer rear-view cameras as standard on all models from 2015.
In downtown Detroit, Honda was due to demonstrate “an automated driving experience in a real-world traffic environment”.
Combining proprietary apps, dedicated short range communications (DSRC) and smartphones, Honda says it is able to facilitate communication between vehicles and road-users including pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists via alerts and exchanges of messages.
Hauling you to safety. Pioneering V2V Virtual Tow technology alerts surrounding vehicles to a vehicle or driver in distress. According to Honda, the assisting driver can virtually link up and “tow” the vehicle in question, with the trailing vehicle taking its driving cues from the lead vehicle via connected-car (V2V) technology and automated system to an emergency services provider such as a hospital.
Look ma, no hands. Combining the benefits of the cloud and connected car tech, Lane-level Hazard information plus Automated Lane Change generates a real-time image of hazard en route and is able to take evasive action automatically.