We all know how frustrating driving in congested traffic can be. A drive that should take 20 minutes can stretch into an hour or more. Honda Motor company is testing out some new technology in an attempt to fix this issue. Currently, they are running a new test on their congestion-minimization technology app in Indonesia, a country well known for their incredible traffic jams.
The idea behind this app is that in order to properly combat traffic congestion and get things moving as smoothly as possible, each driver needs to adjust their driving behavior. If you can get everyone driving properly, it follows that the congestion will be minimized. The app currently being tested by Honda allows drivers to glance at their smartphone periodically to determine whether or not they are driving properly for the situation.
The app monitors acceleration and deceleration as well as reporting on whether or not the current driving behavior will lead to a traffic jam. By aligning with other vehicles and optimizing their driving, a reduction in the amount of traffic jams was actually realized during the study. While more testing is necessary, and the fact that encouraging drivers to use their smartphones while driving is frowned upon in most areas, it does appear that by encouraging drivers to change their behavior, smoother traffic conditions can be realized. Honda is also working on features of the app that will audibly alert the driver to eliminate the need to glance away from traffic while driving.
Eventually, it may be possible for engineers to create a built-in solution to vehicles that will help maintain a constant flow of traffic and eliminate the problems of traffic jams. There is certainly demand for these applications and as the population continues to rise, the need will continue to increase.
For students interested in engineering, these apps prove that there is definitely room for improvement in the engineering process of vehicles, as well as providing apps for drivers that can reduce the likelihood of traffic jams. Third world and developing countries and high population amounts will definitely need help to address these problems as they occur. For those in the engineering field, the future in this industry is definitely bright.
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