Honda shows how its future 5G-connected vehicles could save lives, reduce crashes

Zac Palmer
·3-min read

Honda is on the path to develop connected vehicle technology for its future cars like many other car companies. Today, it demonstrated how some of these technologies will help us and explains how the transition to 5G tech will move this along.

The video at the top of this post best shows what Honda is trying to do. It illustrates three different scenarios where cellular vehicle-to-everything communications (C-V2X) will come in handy, and potentially save lives. Honda says it’s relying on Verizon’s 5G network (we’ll note here that Autoblog is part of the Verizon Media group of media companies, but the relationship does not affect our coverage) to test its tech at the University of Michigan’s Mcity, which is a dedicated test area for future connected and autonomous vehicles.

A pedestrian scenario is the first test shown. It simulates a situation in which a pedestrian walks into the street at an intersection that is blind to the driver. Using cameras mounted in the intersection, the infrastructure is capable of sending a warning message to the driver’s instrument cluster in the connected car that a pedestrian is about to walk into the street before they even step foot in it.

This all needs to happen in an instant, which is why they’re using 5G and new mobile edge computing (MEC). Honda says that using 5G and MEC is an improvement because it reduces the need for onboard artificial intelligence that is otherwise needed for the car to communicate with other vehicles or infrastructure. Also, 5G is extremely quick.

The second example Honda provides is a warning of incoming emergency vehicles. An emergency vehicle coming from behind could send a signal out ahead that other drivers will see in their dash, allowing them to move over and make way for the emergency vehicles. Lastly, the car could give you advance warning that someone is running a red light at your intersection. Using data from cameras, the infrastructure could send a signal to all vehicles at the light that somebody is running a red near them.

“Honda’s research collaboration with Verizon is an important step in our multi-year effort to develop connected vehicle safety technology to realize our vision for a collision-free society,” says Ehsan Moradi Pari, Ph.D, research group lead at Honda’s Advanced Technology Research Division. “While the research is preliminary and not intended as a product feature at this time, 5G-enabled vehicle communication and MEC have the potential to advance safety for everyone sharing the road.”

We wish we could give you some sort of outlook for when this tech will find its way into Honda vehicles, but it’s still very obviously in a research-and-development stage. Honda says it’s been working on C-V2X since 2017 under the SAFE SWARM initiative. We can hope that this tech finds its way into cars soon and contributes to lowering the number of driving fatalities and crashes.

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