Honda plans to swarm CES with aids to traffic safety
Honda will be busy at CES 2019, showcasing several concepts and products related to vehicles and robotics. Among these is an interesting traffic safety system utilizing vehicle-to-vehicle communications. Honda is calling it Safe Swarm and its goal is to improve traffic flow and safety.
The Safe Swam concept shows how vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) and vehicle-to-everything (V2X) communications can improve traffic flow and safety in a variety of situations. The video below illustrates how this works, building on a Safe Swarm concept first shown at CES in 2017. When it was shown then, the concept was merely computer models showing how it could work. Now Honda has real vehicles on a real road doing the demonstrating.
Using a closed course to evaluate the idea for real-world use has proven it works, and Honda is ready to put Safe Swarm on public roadways starting soon. The automaker plans to use the 33 Smart Mobility Corridor in Ohio for the testing. This roadway will be the longest stretch of continuously connected vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) in the world. Honda is looking to test both its own V2V and V2X technologies as well as help others test their V2I and V2V communications.
Safe Swarm works on a concept that's been visualized and used by many other researchers in vehicle autonomy. Back in 2011, aircraft maker Boeing demonstrated swarm technology using an insect model for flight. Researchers at Georgia Tech showed how robots that were too focused on safety might become immobilized when utilizing swarm rules. Now, bionic bee swarms could be monitoring farms. The idea of swarm intelligence is not new, but Honda plans to take it to new levels with autonomous driving technologies.
The company's video showcasing the latest in Safe Swarm's capabilities shows how equipped vehicles can respond to and even help other, non-connected vehicles react to traffic merging, road hazards, and more.