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Honda experiment demonstrates smarter, safer car technology
By Insure.com staff

Honda demonstrated two experimental technologies aimed at reducing the chance for collisions between cars and pedestrians and between cars and motorcycles.

The vehicle-to-pedestrian system uses communications technology, a proprietary smartphone application, and sensing capability to warn drivers and pedestrians of a potential collision. The pedestrian's smartphone and the nearby vehicles establish a communications channel to determine if the pedestrian is in danger of being struck by an oncoming car. The system warns the pedestrian with a high-volume beep and a warning on the smartphone screen, and it alerts the driver with an alarm and visual warnings on the vehicle's heads-up display and navigation screen.

The vehicle-to-motorcycle technology gives auditory and visual warnings to the car driver when there is potential for a collision with a motorcycle -- even when the motorcycle is obstructed from view. Honda is researching and testing the system in cooperation with the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute.

"While these are still experimental technologies, they provide a strong indication of the future potential for the kinds of advanced collision sensing and predictive technologies Honda is developing to further reduce the potential for serious accidents, injuries and even fatalities," Jim Keller, chief engineer for Honda R&D Americas Inc., said in a press statement.

Honda also has been conducting advanced research into systems to prevent collisions between cars and between cars and objects. The automaker is a partner in the Connected Vehicle Safety Pilot Program conducted by the U.S. Department of Transportation, including the Department's Safety Pilot Model Deployment test program, currently underway in Ann Arbor, Mich. Eight Honda vehicles are participating in the test program.

Pedestrian accidents account for about 13 percent of the 33,000 traffic fatalities that occur each year in the U.S.

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