• Honda to pilot advanced prototype of road condition management system with three tech partners and Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT)
  • ODOT invests $700,000 for data analysis and evaluation in project led by Honda and partners i-Probe Inc., The University of Cincinnati, and Parsons Corporation
  • Vehicle-generated data could make roadways safer by helping maintenance crews more quickly address roadway damage

DriveOhio, the smart mobility hub of The Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT), has awarded over $700,000 for a two-year research project led by Honda and three technology partners – i-Probe Inc., The University of Cincinnati, and Parsons (NYSE: PSN). The partners will develop a road condition management system that will use vehicle-generated data to identify and report hazardous road conditions in Ohio. Honda will lead the project, leveraging the research it conducted in 2022 and the Honda Drive Data Service* from Honda Motor Co., Ltd., with the funding to cover project work by the three partners.

In addition to increased efficiencies and potential cost savings for the state of Ohio, the project could help make roads safer and reduce the cost to consumers associated with vehicle damage due to road hazards. ODOT is responsible for nearly 50,000 lane miles and almost 45,000 bridges across the state. Through early identification of roadway issues like potholes or damaged guardrail, ODOT’s maintenance crews may be able to respond faster and make repairs before conditions worsen. Furthermore, the vehicle-generated data could instantly link inspectors to near real-time information, potentially reducing the need for time-consuming visual inspections.

The initiative will build on a pilot program conducted by the Honda Research Institute in 2022, which evaluated a road condition management system using GPS coordinates and cameras to collect real-time road condition information.

During the new two-year project, Honda test vehicles equipped with Advanced Driver Assistive Systems (ADAS) will collect road condition data on select routes that will be analyzed and evaluated to pinpoint roadway damage and inform road maintenance operations in Ohio. In the future, ADAS-equipped vehicles could become part of an active road maintenance system that collects anonymized road hazard information for analysis and appropriate action by road maintenance crews.

Honda has been a leader in the U.S. in advancing connected vehicle and connected infrastructure research and pilot programs. By empowering drivers to participate and contribute to building a safer and better roadway, this will significantly enhance the customer experience while potentially improving the efficiency of maintenance work for road operators like ODOT.

Scope of Two-year Project
Working closely with ODOT, the partner companies will integrate their respective technologies with Honda test vehicles for data collection and analysis of the roads located in rural and urban areas. The project will focus on the following roadway conditions: 

  • Roadway striping deficiencies that affect some driver assistance features, such as lane-keeping assist functions
  • Pothole development, including size and location
  • Ride quality of the road, regardless of the vehicle’s age or condition
  • Guardrail and cable road barrier damage
  • Road sign wear, including missing signs
  • Condition of berms, including the percentage and depth of drop off 

Honda and the partner companies will provide the roadway condition data to ODOT through a web dashboard. ODOT will use the data to cross-reference its regular visual inspections. The results of the analysis will be used to enhance the machine learning algorithm Honda uses to generate the web-based dashboards. After the project, ODOT will evaluate the possibilities and value-add for long-term use of such data for maintenance as well as for other ODOT operations.

Executive Comments:
Ohio Department of Transportation/DriveOhio:
”As transportation evolves and modern vehicles become more advanced, ODOT is excited to investigate new ways to apply technology and maximize efficiency for our crews,” said DriveOhio Executive Director Preeti Choudhary. “Integrating vehicle data into our operations has the potential to be a game-changer when it comes to better serving Ohio drivers and increasing roadway safety for all.”

“As Honda continues to expand the application of our Honda Sensing and AcuraWatch systems in the U.S., we have a tremendous amount of valuable, anonymized data available for road operators,” said Sue Bai, chief engineer and chief of data business, Digital Service Development Division at American Honda Motor Co., Inc. “We believe this initiative will be a paradigm shift in road infrastructure evaluation, management, and maintenance, by empowering drivers to contribute to and participate in creating safer and smoother roadways with a sense of shared ownership and pride, improving the overall driving experience, and proactively helping prepare infrastructure for future mobility needs including autonomous vehicles, all toward Honda’s goal of achieving zero traffic-collision fatalities involving our motorcycles and vehicles by the year 2050.”

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