Honda Research Institute USA, Inc. is conducting a pilot program in Ohio to evaluate a road condition monitoring system that uses vehicle technology to collect real-time road condition information.
According to Ohio Department of Transportation officials, monitoring faded or damaged lane markings is a labor-intensive process for roadway operators.
That’s why Honda Research Institute developed this first-of-its-kind system that uses GPS coordinates and sensors such as cameras to collect real-time road condition information that can be shared with road operators.
Honda is collaborating with the Ohio Department of Transportation and plans to start providing road condition data in early 2022, from Honda vehicles used as part of the pilot program to help enhance the efficiency of the road maintenance operation in Ohio.
Honda Research Institute also is exploring how connected vehicles can access the anonymized data to adjust Honda and Acura Advanced Driver Assistance System’s (ADAS) perception settings, and if needed, warn drivers if lane markings are faded or are in need of repair.
“Maintaining good road conditions helps keep everyone sharing the road safe,” said Paritosh Kelkar, scientist at Honda Research Institute USA, Inc. and project leader of the road condition monitoring system.
“Real-time, high-accuracy roadway data captured from connected vehicles has the potential to improve the process of identifying, reporting, and more quickly repairing hazardous road conditions.”
When monitoring lane-marking conditions, the system visually classifies lane lines to the left and right of the vehicle using four color codes: green, yellow, grey and red.
Green and yellow classifications respectively indicate ideal to good lane marking conditions. The system displays grey classifications when there are no lane lines and red if the lane markings need repair.
That road condition information, including longitude and latitude coordinates along with relevant images and video clips, is captured by the vehicle, anonymized, and then streamed to a secure platform for analysis. Road operators can access this platform to identify the location, type and severity of the road condition and hazard information, and obtain a still image and video.
“We regularly inspect our roadways throughout Ohio and act quickly to address any issues, like faded or damaged pavement markings, that are identified. It’s a labor-intensive process. Good pavement markings are important to the drivers of today and the vehicles of tomorrow,” Ohio Department of Transportation Director Jack Marchbanks said.
“We’re excited to work with Honda to improve the process.”
With this vehicle-generated road condition reporting system, Honda hopes to help road operators monitor lane marking conditions in a more frequent, efficient and cost-effective way that helps fulfill the company’s concept of “Safety for Everyone.
In addition to lane markings, Honda Research Institute plans to expand the system’s application to monitor other types of road conditions.