Honda is piloting a road-monitoring system to spot faded lane markers

That data is then shared with road operators to help prioritize repairs.

Sponsored Links

LOS ANGELES, CALIF. - NOV. 24, 2021. Traffic streams along the San Bernardino Freeway in downtown Los Angeles on Thanksgiving getaway day on Wednesday, Nov. 24, 2021. (Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)
Luis Sinco via Getty Images

Staying in your lane is a lot easier when you know how much of the road is yours to use. Unfortunately, America’s decades-long love affair with performing the absolute bare minimum of basic infrastructure maintenance has left many stretches of the nation’s highway lane markers faded, damaged and obscured. A new pilot program from Honda Research Institute USA could one day help local highway and traffic departments keep a closer eye on the state of the roads in their care, using the cars travelling upon them.

The Honda Road Condition Monitoring System leverages the cameras and GPS navigation systems already found in many of today’s automobiles to monitor the real-time conditions of roads and detect potential hazards. The onboard system will evaluate each stretch of lane marker as green, yellow, grey and red. Green and yellow denote ideal or good quality lane markers, while red indicates markers in need of repair and grey means that there are no markers present at all (like on city streets or rural roads).

The system captures road conditions using the vehicle’s cameras and other sensors, coordinating that feed with the onboard GPS to provide exact locations of any hazards or damage and then uploads that data to a secure server. Once the data is in the cloud, local highway and transportation departments will be able to access it through a web portal to see which stretches of roadway need to be repaired or repainted most urgently.

“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 in a statement Monday. “We’re excited to work with Honda to improve the process.”

Honda is working with the Ohio Department of Transportation for its upcoming pilot program, which is slated to begin early next year. During that study, obviously only select Honda vehicles will be recording datam, “to help enhance the efficiency of the road maintenance operation in Ohio,” according to a Monday press release. The research institute is looking to eventually connect entire fleets of Honda and Acura vehicles, allowing them to share data via V2V (vehicle-to-vehicle) networks and provide real-time updates to their ADA systems.

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Popular on Engadget