The Honda Research Institute announced a pilot program in Ohio to evaluate a new system using GPS coordinates and sensors to detect and collect road conditions, in an effort to keep roads and highways safer for drivers. Although currently a small program, if successful, Honda’s system could be a cost-effective and efficient way to identify and complete necessary road repairs across the nation without needing crews manually inspecting every inch of road.
“Maintaining good road conditions helps keep everyone sharing the road safe,” said Paritosh Kelkar, scientist at Honda Research Institute USA. “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.”
How will the program work?
While using Honda-connected vehicles (only two for the pilot program) operated by research engineers, the cars will evaluate the roads on which they are driving using GPS coordinates and onboard cameras. The cars collect information in real time and send it back to the Ohio Department of Transportation for analysis and action. As the vehicles travel throughout the state, they classify left and right lane markings according to color codes:
- Green: Ideal
- Yellow: Good
- Red: Needs repair
- Grey: No lane line detected
The Honda Research Institute has future plans to expand this technology to monitor other types of dangerous road conditions, a positive step in keeping the roads safer for everyone. Ohio Department of Transportation Director Jack Marchbanks remarked:
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. We’re excited to work with Honda to improve the process.
Honda provides a short video on how their program and technology works on YouTube. The program is set to kick off in early 2022.
Why repairing lane markings is a good thing
Keeping our roads and highways in good shape is obviously an effective way to keep the public safe and cut down on car accidents caused by dangerous road conditions. With more and more vehicles outfitted with lane assist, lane markings must be clear and delineated. These lane assist systems use cameras to monitor the lane markings around a vehicle and alert the driver when they drift out of their lane without using a turn signal.
However, when lane markings are faded or destroyed, vehicle cameras cannot read these markings correctly and may cause these cameras to malfunction. One vehicle owner tells Consumer Reports, “Sometimes cracks in the pavement (or old lane lines that have been painted over) set it off even if I’m in the lane, so that could be improved.” Another noted, “I like [lane departure warnings] but can be irritating where there are uneven lanes, merge lanes or construction lane shifts.”
When lane assist works correctly, though, other vehicle owners report a positive experience, saying, “It is a good system. If I try to change lanes without giving a turn signal, it brings me back. Makes me more conscious of using my turn signal.”
Honda notes that, in the future, the data collected in this pilot program can help warn Honda and Acura drivers of faded lane markings or stretches of road in need of repair ahead – giving drivers the information they need to be extra alert and cautious.
The dangers of defective road conditions
Although driver negligence is a common cause of car crashes here in Los Angeles, roads in states of disrepair can also cause serious accidents. Dangerous and defective road conditions can cause drivers to lose control of their vehicles, resulting in wrecks and serious injuries. Some examples of defective road conditions include:
It is always important to have an experienced attorney on your side when injured in a car crash, as the cause of your accident may not always be immediately clear. The insurance company may assign fault to you, when the actual cause of your accident was poor road conditions. Your lawyer can perform an investigation to determine the real liable parties, who can include:
- The government or public entity responsible for road upkeep and maintenance
- Any private company, if the accident occurred on a private road or parking lot
- Any companies or parties responsible for maintenance and/or construction
- A product manufacturer, if a defective product caused your accident (like a malfunctioning stoplight)
What should I do if a defective road condition caused my accident?
You must act quickly. Under California Government Code Section 911.2, you have only six months to bring a claim against a government entity for personal injury or property damage. According to the California Courts:
After you file your claim, the government has 45 days to respond. If the government agency denies your claim during the 45 days, you have 6 months to file a lawsuit in court from date the denial was mailed or personally delivered to you. If you do not get a rejection letter, you have 2 years to file from the day the incident occurred. But do not count on having 2 years to file your claim. The statute of limitations for government claims can be complicated to figure out.
This is why it is crucial to consult with a lawyer as soon as possible after your car accident. Knowledgeable counsel can answer all of your questions and concerns regarding liable parties and applicable statutes of limitations for your specific circumstances.
The Los Angeles attorneys at McNicholas & McNicholas, LLP are here to help when you or a loved one suffer injury in a car accident that was not your fault. We can investigate your claim and determine the liable parties, working to recover financial compensation so you can heal from your injuries. To schedule a free, remote consultation, call us today at 310-474-1582 or complete our contact form.
Please note that this blog is not to be construed as legal advice. Because every case is fact-specific, you should consult directly with an attorney to obtain legal advice specific to your situation.
For more than three decades, McNicholas & McNicholas, LLP has built a reputation as one of California’s leading law firms. Founded by a family of attorneys spanning three generations, John McNicholas and sons, Patrick and Matthew, have tried hundreds of cases to jury verdict on behalf of clients. Learn More about McNicholas & McNicholas