Ohio Department of Transportation Taps Honda to Lead Two-Year Project to Advance Road condition safety

November 15th, 2023 by

 

Proven leader

 

As the name makes clear, Honda is a proven leader in all things safety, and a recent charge by Ohio Department of Safety brings that to light once again.

DriveOhio, the smart mobility hub of ODOT has invested more than $700,000 for a two-year research project led by Honda with three technology partners as part of the effort. Those partners include i-Probe Inc., the University of Cincinnati and Parsons (NYSE PSN). The automaker will pilot an advanced prototype of a road condition management system, using vehicle-generated data that could result in safer roadways by helping maintenance crews more quickly address roadway damage.

 

Honda, in leading this project, will leverage its own research conducted in 2022 and the Honda Drive Data Service from Honda Motor Co. Ltd. All of the funding will cover this important work. It aims at not only increased efficiencies and potential cost savings in the state of Ohio, but will ultimately make our roads safer and reduce the cost to consumers associated with vehicle damage caused by road hazards.

With its nearly 50,000 lane miles and almost 45,000 bridges across the state that are under ODOT’s purview, through early identification of roadway issues such as potholes or damaged guardrail, maintenance crews will have the ability to respond faster and make repairs before conditions worsen. This data can also instantly link inspectors to near real-time information, which serves to reduce the need for time-consuming visual inspections.

 

This new project continues what was a pilot program conducted by the Honda Research Institute dating back to 2022. At that time, they evaluated a road condition management system using GPS coordinates and cameras to collect real-time road condition information.

 

The way the project will roll out is that Honda test vehicles that are equipped with Advanced Driver Assistive Systems will collect road condition data on select routes. That data will then be analyzed and evaluated so as to pinpoint roadway damage and inform road maintenance operations in Ohio. Down the line, these ADAS-equipped vehicles could become part of an active road maintenance system that will collect anonymized road hazard information for analysis and appropriate action by road maintenance crews.

 

This project also speaks to and furthers the fact that Honda is a true leader when it comes to advancing connected vehicle and connected infrastructure research and pilot programs. As a result of this key study, drivers will become empowered to participate and contribute to building a safer and better roadway for everyone. The end result will be an even greater customer experience overall.

A look closer

 

When it comes to the scope of this project, there is much that will be covered. Working intimately with ODOT and its partner companies, Honda will focus its research on several roadway conditions. Those include roadway striping deficiencies that affect some driver

assistance features; pothole development; ride quality on the road; guardrail and cable road barrier damage; road sign wear; and condition of berms.

 

This roadway condition data will be supplied to ODOT via a web dashboard. ODOT will then use the data to cross-reference its regular visual inspections, with the results of this study used to enhance the machine learning algorithm Honda uses to generate the web-based dashboards. Once the project wraps up, ODOT will evaluate the possibilities and value-add for long-term use of such data for both maintenance and other ODOT operations.

This project will culminate in a very impactful lesson that will serve to create a vision for the scalability of the road management system. Honda as well as its partners in this endeavor bring strong and clear expertise in complementary disciplines.

 

“As Honda continues to expand the application of our Honda Sensing and AcuraWatch systems in the U.S., we have a tremendous amount of valuable, anonymized data available for road operations,” Sue Bai, chief engineer and chief of data business of Digital Service Development Division at American Honda Motor Co. Inc., said. “We believe this initiative will be a paradigm shift in road infrastructure evaluation, management and maintenance by empowering drivers to contribute to and participate in creating safer and smoother roadways with a sense of shared ownership and pride, improving the overall driving experience and proactively helping prepare infrastructure for future mobility needs including autonomous vehicles, all toward Honda’s goal of achieving zero traffic-collision fatalities involving our motorcycles and vehicles by the year 2050.”

 

Advancing safety on today’s roads has gotten a big push, with Honda leading the way. Follow this project along and see how the automaker and its partners are making vital headway in an effort that improves mobility for all!