Working alongside the University of Tokyo’s Research Center for Advanced Science
, Honda is in the process of developing on-board terminals to connect cars to a cloud-based computing system that optimizes the distance between them, helping drivers maintain a relatively constant driving distance (as per the image below). It does this by detecting the acceleration and deceleration behavior of a car and contextualizes it within the larger pool of cars.
If a car that is equipped with the technology is behind a string of vehicles lead by a car that slams on the breaks, the system would detect this change and communicate to the driver to hang back, even though the sudden stop ahead is not within sight.
The technology has important implications for traffic congestion (as it detects patterns that reveal whether a vehicle is likely to create a traffic jam) and fuel efficiency as well. Their initial research demonstrates that traffic speed was increased by 23% and fuel efficiency by 8%. Honda will be rolling out their cloud system in Italy and Indonesia later this year.