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    Dec 2009


    Default Honda develops technology designed to prevent traffic jams

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    While modern in car satnav systems can draw on real-time traffic congestion data and suggest alternative routes for drivers to avoid high traffic areas, Honda has taken a different approach to try and minimize the potential for traffic jams. The company has developed new technology designed to detect whether a person’s driving is likely to create traffic jams and encourage them to drive in such a way as to keep traffic flowing.

    No doubt you’ve been forced to come to a stop in freeway traffic for no apparent reason. There’s been no accident, no lane closure, no dog on the road, but all of a sudden traffic comes to a complete standstill before moving off again. This stop-start freeway driving is pretty commonplace and is frustrating for those behind the wheel. It also increases travel time, the chance of rear-end accidents, and fuel consumption.

    In 2007, research at the University of Exeter showed such traffic jams weren’t necessarily caused by heavy traffic alone, but by a “backward traveling wave” set off by a driver slowing down, causing the car behind to slow further, and the car behind that to slow yet further, and so on, resulting in a so-called “accordion effect” until somewhere down the line traffic comes to a complete standstill.

    Now Honda has developed a world first technology that can detect whether the driving patterns of a vehicle are likely to lead to this kind of traffic congestion and suggests ways to avoid it. The system monitors the driver’s acceleration and deceleration patterns and, if it determines they have the potential to create a traffic jam, it encourages smoother driving via a color-coded display
    ...being a human...



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