Honda's New Pilot Program Working to Detect Roads in Need of Repair

dash line middle of the road
New technology being tested by Honda will analyze road markings. Laura Zamora/Getty Images

The Honda Research Institute is collaborating with the Ohio Department of Transportation to test a real-time road condition pilot program in the Buckeye State. The technology uses GPS coordinates and sensors to collect information on faded and missing lane markings that can be shared with road operators.

Using the data that will be collected during this pilot program, the Honda Research Institute plans to begin providing road condition data in early 2022 to help enhance the efficiency of the road maintenance operation in Ohio.

They are also exploring how connected vehicles can access the anonymized data to adjust Honda and Acura Advanced Driver Assistance System's (ADAS) perception settings and 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."

In order to track lane marking conditions, the system will visually classify lane lines to the left and right of the vehicle using four color codes: green, yellow, grey and red. The green and yellow classifications will indicate ideal to good lane marking conditions, grey will be reserved for areas where there are no lane lines and red will be displayed when the lane markings need repair.

That road condition information, including longitude and latitude coordinates, along with relevant images and video clips, will be captured by the vehicle, made anonymous, then steamed to a secure platform for analysis.

Honda Research Institute lane monitor
The Honda Research Institute is developing a road condition monitoring system that uses GPS coordinates and sensors to collect real-time data about lane marking conditions. American Honda Motor Co., Inc

Road operators will be able to access the information to identify the location, type and severity of the road condition and hazard information.

"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," said Ohio Department of Transportation Director Jack Marchbanks. "We're excited to work with Honda to improve the process."

The Honda Research Institute also plans to expand the system's application to monitor other types of road conditions in the future.