Auto Tech

Honda to use vehicle cameras to monitor road conditions in new pilot program

The system works by pulling data from cameras used in the Honda Sensing suite of ADAS features and then sending them for analysis by the Ohio DOT.

One of the difficulties that advanced driver assistance systems developers face is the wildly varying quality of America's road infrastructure. For example, it's a lot easier for a vehicle using active features like lane-keep assist to stay centered if road markings are clear than if there are no lane markings at all. Honda is no stranger to dealing with this with its Honda Sensing systems, but now, it's going a step further to do something about it.

Honda announced on Tuesday that it's been working on a system that takes photos and video collected by vehicle cameras of road markings, pairs those images or footage with GPS data, and makes them available to local governments. The Honda Road Condition Monitoring program is slated to begin in early 2022 as part of a partnership with the Ohio Department of Transportation and we think it's a pretty cool idea.

Now, pairing visual data with location data from vehicles and then shipping that off may have some concerns, but Honda claims that the data will be anonymized and sent to a secure platform in the US for analysis. Honda says that the program will initially use vehicles driven by research program engineers, but we'll be interested to see how the program scales if it proves to be successful.

Still, given the ever-worsening state of America's road infrastructure, any kind of technology that allows the government to monitor the state of that infrastructure without needing to send people out to inspect every road physically is a good thing. That will make it easier to more wisely prioritize how money is spent and ensure it gets spent first on the areas of road that need the most repair.

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