Public-roads testing results of Honda congestion minimization technology
Honda Motor conducted public-road testing of its new traffic congestion minimization technology in Indonesia and verified the effectiveness of the technology in delaying the development of congestion, and improving fuel efficiency by more than 20 percent. The public-road testing in Indonesia was conducted from September 2012 through February 2013 on a toll road between Ulujami and Pondok Ranji (in Jakarta) which is operated by PT. Jalantol Lingkarluar Jakarta.
Traffic congestion is caused by the disorderly flow of the traffic. Therefore, to minimize congestion, the driver of each vehicle needs to adjust driving behavior to the surrounding vehicles. Honda developed a smartphone app which changes the colors of the smartphone display to help the user to check at a glance whether his/her driving is aligned with surrounding vehicles.
This app was used in the public-road testing conducted in Indonesia. This smartphone app monitors the pattern of acceleration and deceleration and determines if the pattern is likely to create traffic congestion, and if so, provides support to aligning driving to the surrounding vehicles. In addition to minimizing traffic congestion, this app is expected to improve the safety and fuel efficiency of the user’s vehicle as well as several hundred vehicles operating on the same roads.
Honda will continue its effort to realize a congestion-free mobility society through development of new functions including a function that employs an on-board device to provide the users with information about possible congested areas determined based on the actual amount of traffic and driving patterns. To realize the widespread use of this technology for motorcycles and other types of vehicles, Honda will also develop a function that supports driving aligned through the use of audio and vibration alerts.
Outline of the congestion minimization system used for the experiment
Two different types of systems were tested:
- Stand-alone system: using a stand-alone smartphone on one vehicle, the system determines if the driving pattern leads to traffic congestion.
- Interactive system: multiple smartphones in multiple vehicles are connected to a cloud server to provide synchronized assistance to the driver taking into consideration the behavior of multiple vehicles and information about other vehicles up ahead.
Congestion minimization experiment results
|Stand-alone system||Interactive system||Explanation|
|Delay in development of congestion||Average 3 min
Maximum 6 min
|Average 4 min
Maximum 6 min
|Introduction of this system will make the flow of traffic more smooth and increase the average vehicle speed, therefore will delay the development of traffic congestion.|
|Changes in average speed||Became more moderate by 60%||Became more moderate by 70%||Drastic changes in vehicle speed will cause congestion. The moderate changes in speed also will increase the safety level.|
|Fuel efficiency||Improved by 20%||Improved by 22%|
The amount of traffic and pattern of changes in average speed with vehicles equipped with the congestion system
Source: Honda Motor
The systemic view taken to tackle congestion issues is the right one. However, this involves a high commitment and high demands on every driver (having the app, activating it …). Do you think that a full scale roll-out of this technology is possible? Even in emerging countries?