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Category: Technology

Honda System Informs Drivers of Traffic Lights Ahead

Honda is testing a system that would warn drivers of traffic lights ahead of them. Not just let them know the lights are there, but also whether the light is green or whether they have no chance of making it and need to slow down.

How cool is that?

Think about all those times you drive around a corner or up a hill at a good rate of speed only to have slam on the brakes or cut it too close going through the light. This technology would get rid of any guess work on the part of the driver and improve safety for everyone on the road.

According to this article, “The version of its driver-assist system Honda is testing uses onboard GPS systems and infrared sensors that recognize landmark IR beacons along the road to give the car’s navigation system an accurate estimate of where it is and the status of a traffic signal it may be approaching.”

This technology would probably be available in all car with Car2Car Communication technology, which is being tested in order to help drivers avoid other cars by giving cars the technology to know about surrounding cars and their activities. Informing drivers of traffic lights ahead is an easy extension of that.

What do you think? Would you use this technology?

Honda and Acura Rearview Camera Systems First to be Recognized as Advanced Technology Features by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

Honda’s efforts in the areas of enhanced driver visibility have been recognized by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) as part of its 5-Star Safety Ratings program (also known as the New Car Assessment Program (NCAP)), with nearly all Honda and Acura models with rearview camera systems becoming the first vehicles in the industry to be recognized by the U.S. Department of Transportation for having met its Advanced Technology Feature performance criteria.

Honda vehicles earning this first recognition from NHTSA for the application of recommended rearview camera systems (what NHTSA calls rearview video systems) include the Honda Accord Coupe, Sedan, Hybrid and Plug-In, Civic Coupe, Sedan, Hybrid and Civic Natural Gas, Crosstour, CR-V, CR-Z, Fit EV, Odyssey, Pilot and Ridgeline1; as well as the Acura ILX and ILX Hybrid, MDX, TL, TSX, RDX, RLX and RLX Hybrid (see table below). Additional Honda and Acura models that have been equipped with standard rearview camera systems are expected to have their rearview camera systems recognized as Advanced Technology Features in the near future, including the all-new 2015 Fit subcompact car and 2015 Acura TLX midsize luxury sedan, both launching in spring 2014.

“Rearview cameras are an integral part of Honda’s approach to enhance driver visibility,” said Art St. Cyr, vice president of product planning and logistics at American Honda. “By the 2015 model year all Honda and Acura models will have rearview cameras standard on all models, yet another example of how our company is committed to enhancing the visibility and safety of our customers and everyone on the road.”

The addition of rearview video systems to NHTSA’s list of recommended Advanced Technology Features was intended to encourage manufacturers to improve the rearview visibility of their motor vehicle fleet; the NCAP Advanced Technology Features also include Forward Collision Warning (FCW) and Lane Departure Warning (LDW) systems which also are offered on many Honda and Acura vehicles. More information about crash avoidance technologies that are part of the Government 5-Star Safety Ratings program can be found at safercar.gov.

Starting with the 2013 Honda Crosstour, American Honda has taken a comprehensive approach to enhancing driver visibility and confidence on the road, beginning with the widespread application of rearview cameras. More than 94 percent of Honda and Acura models sold in the U.S. in 2013 were equipped with standard rearview cameras.

Rearview cameras are just one aspect of American Honda’s 360-degree approach to enhanced driver visibility and situational awareness, demonstrated by the broad application of technologies such as FCW and LDW systems on Honda models. These systems use a camera mounted behind the windshield or a front mount radar system to warn drivers of a potential collision with a vehicle detected in front of them, or to alert drivers if the car is unexpectedly moving out of a detected lane. Other available features aimed at improving driver visibility are the Expanded View Driver’s Mirror, Honda LaneWatch display and Acura’s Blind Spot Information (BSI) system.

In addition to applying the next-generation Advanced Compatibility Engineering™ (ACE™) body structure to most of its models, American Honda has applied the following safety features on all its models as standard equipment: Vehicle Stability Assist™ (VSA®) with traction control; an Anti-lock Braking System (ABS); side curtain airbags (most vehicles equipped with a rollover sensor as well); dual-stage, multiple-threshold front airbags; and front side airbags. Other available safety and driver-assistive technologies available on Acura vehicles include the Collision Mitigation Braking System™ (CMBS™) and Lane Keeping Assist System (LKAS). For more detailed information about Honda’s history of leadership in the development and application of advanced technologies and vehicle designs that are meant to enhance the safety of all road users, please view our Safety Issue Brief.

Honda Safety Leadership
Honda has a long history of leadership in the development and application of advanced technologies and designs meant to enhance the safety of all road users, including automobile occupants, motorcycle riders, and pedestrians. The company operates two of the world’s most sophisticated crash test facilities and is responsible for numerous pioneering efforts in the areas of crashworthiness, airbag technology, collision compatibility and pedestrian safety. American Honda leads the industry for 2014 in third party crash test ratings with more models rated TOP SAFETY PICK and TOP SAFETY PICK+ by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) than any other manufacturer.

Honda R&D Installs Advanced Fast-Fill Hydrogen Refueling Station

Preparing for the 2015 introduction of the next Honda fuel cell-electric vehicle (FCEV), Honda R&D Americas has installed a state-of-the-art hydrogen refueling station on its Torrance, California campus. This advanced station will serve as a platform for demonstrating and validating the enhanced hydrogen fueling protocol developed by Honda, named the MC Fill. With the aim of standardizing this new protocol, Honda will make the new research station available to other automakers to further validate the MC Fill protocol’s performance and functionality.

The MC Fill fast-fill protocol is designed for fuel systems that store hydrogen at a pressure of 700 bar (70MPa or 10,000 psi). This new fueling protocol reduces 700-bar fueling times by up to 45 percent versus comparable fueling protocols, and can complete most fills in less than three minutes under normal temperature conditions. The MC Fill more precisely monitors the dispenser outlet temperature and uses this information to calculate the shortest fueling time possible. This dynamic, fast-fill control not only provides FCEV customers with shorter fueling times, but it also allows the dispenser to continuously adjust to current temperature and other conditions which normally affect the refueling time.

Derived from two key values in a heat transfer equation—”M” for mass and “C” for specific heat—the MC Fill name refers to the heat capacity of the hydrogen storage system and represents the capability of the system to absorb the heat that is generated during fueling. The MC Fill protocol utilizes this value, as well as the dispenser outlet gas temperature and pressure, in its fill control logic.

“In order to meet customer expectations, hydrogen fuel cell-powered vehicles need driving ranges and fueling times comparable to conventional gasoline vehicles,” said Steve Mathison, Senior Engineer at Honda R&D Americas, Inc. “This new fueling protocol will allow FCEV customers everywhere to realize short fueling times over a wide range of temperatures.”

Honda has led the industry for nearly two decades in the development and deployment of fuel cell technology through extensive real world testing, including the first government fleet deployment and retail customer lease programs in the United States. Honda has also made significant technological advancements in fuel cell operation in both hot and sub-freezing temperatures and safety regulations, since the introduction of its first generation fuel cell vehicle, the FCX, in 2002. Honda launched its current fuel cell-electric vehicle, the FCX Clarity, in July 2008 as a real technological breakthrough in the areas of design, sedan packaging, assembly line manufacturing, and fuel cell stack size and efficiency, winning “World Green Car of the Year.”

In November 2013, the new Honda FCEV Concept debuted at the Los Angeles International Auto Show, pointing the way to an all-new Honda fuel cell car launching in the U.S. and Japan in 2015 and later in Europe. Honda’s next-generation fuel cell-electric vehicle will feature a fuel cell powertrain packaged completely in the engine room of the vehicle, allowing for efficiencies in cabin space as well as flexibility in the potential application of FC technology to multiple vehicle types in the future. The next-generation Honda FCEV is anticipated to have a driving range of more than 300 miles.

Honda Environmental Leadership
Honda is committed to further advancements in environmental technologies and the effort to improve fuel efficiency and reduce CO2 emissions from its products, including the 2014 Honda Accord Hybrid and Plug-In, the Fit EV, Civic Natural Gas and the Honda FCX Clarity fuel cell electric vehicle. Honda also has led the Union of Concerned Scientists’ (UCS) rankings of overall vehicle environmental performance since 2000, and a Honda vehicle has been included on the list of America’s greenest vehicles from the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) for the past 16 years.

Honda Develops Solar Powered Compatible EV Charger

Honda is changing the way we think of electric vehicles and how they charge. Honda “…has made its way to the spotlight by working on a normal speed EV charger that is able to garner its energy from the power of the sun, too, which would go some way in promoting the use of electric-powered vehicles.”

Not only that, but it is a small solar panel that can be installed on a wall just about anywhere. According to this article, “Not only that, it can also be installed in a jiffy in existing parking areas, as it offers support for network-based billing services and smart card authentication. Not only that, the HEH55 will also sport locking systems that include a “gunlock” function so that any untoward mischief can be prevented.”

While all manufacturing are battling to create more efficient vehicles, including electric vehicles, Honda is taking it one step further and making the way these vehicles get power environmentally friendly, too. Not just environmentally friendly, but convenient.

And that’s pretty awesome.

Honda is Industry Leader for Fuel Cell Technology

Honda is blazing the trail when it comes to fuel cell technology. In fact, if the concept car of the Honda FCEV is any indication, then we are pretty confident Honda is setting the standard.

The Honda FCX was the world’s first production vehicle out in 2002. Honda’s FCX clarity came out in 2008 and turned even more heads. The next generation will arrive in 2015 and judging by the looks of the concept car, it will be incredible.

We think it’s a great thing for Honda to continue on developing new technologies because people want options and fuel cell technology is just one more option for people to consider as they evaluate the costs of filling up their vehicles with gasoline every day.

According to this article, “Inside, the Honda FCEV Concept provides ample seating for five thanks to new powertrain packaging efficiencies, which include the world’s first application of a fuel cell powertrain integrated completely within the engine compartment. The fuel-cell stack has an output of over 100 kilowatts with a power density of 3 kilowatts per liter, a 60 percent improvement from previous iterations.”

The Honda FCEV will give drivers a range of about 300 miles, comparable to that of the Tesla Model S. And better than standing there for an hour waiting for your car to charge (like the Model S or other EVs), the Honda FCEV can be refueled in about three minutes.

We are excited to see what the production model of the Honda FCEV looks like and proud that Honda continues to push the limits on modern technology!

Honda Earth Dreams Technology™ Two-Motor Hybrid System Named to Green Car Journal’s Top 10 Green Car Technology List for 2014

Official Press Release from Honda:
  • Two-motor hybrid system that debuted in Honda Accord lineup delivers both class-leading fuel efficiency and excellent performance
  • Powertrain featured on Honda’s most fuel efficient gasoline-powered models, the 115 MPGe Accord Plug-In and 50 mpg Accord Hybrid

Honda’s Earth Dreams Technology™ two-motor hybrid system that helped the 2014 Accord Hybrid earn an EPA-rated fuel economy of 50 mpg city has been named to Green Car Journal’s Top 10 Green Car Technology List for 2014. Part of an expanding lineup of Honda Earth Dreams Technology powertrains, the innovative two-motor hybrid system generates class-leading fuel efficiency without compromising performance.

“Honda’s hybrid technology has progressed substantially since the introduction of the Insight in 1999,” said Art St. Cyr, vice president of Product Planning and Logistics at American Honda. “Today, the Honda two-motor hybrid system that powers the Accord Plug-In and Accord Hybrid is the direct result of our commitment to create advanced vehicle technologies that offer top-of-class fuel economy ratings with a fun-to-drive character.”

The Two-Motor Hybrid System, available on the EPA-rated 50 mpg Accord Hybrid1 and the EPA-rated 115 MPGe Accord Plug-in Hybrid1, seamlessly blends electric-only, hybrid and engine drive modes along with powerful regenerative braking to provide responsive and efficient performance in a wide range of driving situations. As the powertrain shifts seamlessly among the three driving modes, the system utilizes power from the i-VTEC® 4-cylinder engine and the electric motor to suit the driving conditions moment to moment.

The Green Car Technology™ awards honor important enabling technology helping to create a new generation of fuel-efficient, alternative-fuel, or low-emission vehicles. Technologies considered for the award range from advanced powerplants and drivetrain components to on-board systems that work toward increasing efficiencies, reducing petroleum use or improving environmental impact. Qualifying technologies must be in use by vehicle models currently on the market today.

“Honda’s two-motor plug-in hybrid technology proves that high efficiency can go hand-in-hand with driving enjoyment,” said Ron Cogan, editor and publisher of the Green Car Journal and CarsOfChange.com. “Building on the strengths and outstanding efficiency of the two-motor Accord Hybrid, Honda’s Accord Plug-In adds the important flexibility of driving on hybrid, gasoline, or plug-in battery power as conditions and needs warrant.”

Honda Environmental Leadership
In addition to the Earth Dreams Technology powertrain suite, Honda is committed to further advancements in fuel efficiency, with a focus on the broad application of technologies such as Eco Assist™, VTEC™ and Variable Cylinder Management™ (VCM™). Honda has also led the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) rankings of overall vehicle environmental performance since 2000, and a Honda vehicle has topped the list of America’s greenest vehicles from the America Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) for 15 consecutive years.

150 city/45 highway/47 combined mpg rating for Accord Hybrid. 115 combined miles per gallon of gasoline-equivalent (MPGe) electric rating; 47 city/46 highway/46 combined MPG gasoline only rating for Accord PHEV. Ratings determined by EPA. Use for comparison purposes only. Your MPGe/MPG will vary depending on driving conditions, how you drive and maintain your vehicle, battery-package/condition, and other factors.

Honda on Cutting Edge of V2G Technology

Honda is partnering up with the University of Delaware to pioneer something that seems more futuristic than hydrogen fuel cell technology, something you may never even have heard of yet: vehicle to grid, or V2G.

Basically the idea is similar to that of homes that use solar power; any excess energy that is produced and is not used by the home can be sold to the energy company and the homeowner paid for that energy. With this experimental V2G technology, hybrid/electric cars would plug into a grid that would allow stored up, unused battery energy to go back into the grid and be used to charge other vehicles.

According to this article on Torquenews.com, “Your Accord plug in or FCEV(if it has plug -in capacity) will reverse -flow excess battery storage capacity back into the power grid via a controller developed through the UD’s Center for Carbon Free Integration. You can read about the program here. Assuming that electric car production reaches critical mass in the not too distant future, this energy swap will be critical in maintaining grid-flow during peak energy usage hours. And that’s a big if.

“The partnership project between UD and Honda is on an ‘ experimental’ basis. For the program to be successful, a major manufacturer such as Honda would agree to integrate UD’s board into mass produced EV’s.”

We think this is an incredibly forward-thinking and brave step on Honda’s part. Electric vehicles are just emerging as a popular option among the average car-buyer and this V2G idea is one that has yet to be proven effective, let alone appealing to consumers. But we are excited to see that Honda is taking this step to power vehicles with renewable energy that could potentially be shared by all on the grid.

2014 Honda Civic Adds Apple iOS Mirroring

Do you love Honda? Do you love Apple? Well, now you can combine your two loves with the 2014 Honda Civic as the first Honda to include iOS mirroring.

According to this article, “This iOS mirroring feature will link your car to your iOS handset closer than ever before. Customers who purchase a 2014 Civic will be able to control their iPhone or iPad using a multitouch display built into the car’s dash.”

“This is just another example of how Honda is incorporating technology that people use every day,” said Keith Hofkamp of Sims Honda dealership in Burlington.

A recent blog here on BlogHonda.com also noted that the 2014 Honda Civic would be the first Honda to offer HD Radio, real-time traffic news, and more.

“The 2014 Honda Civic, arriving here in just a couple weeks will be one of the biggest things to hit the market next year,” Hofkamp said. “People are going to love it.”

Mark your calendars and be sure to stop by Sims Honda, Northwest Honda, or Apple Valley Honda dealership to find out how the 2014 Honda Civic can meet your technological needs in a vehicle.

2014 Honda Civic First Honda to Offer HD Radio, Available December

The 2014 Honda Civic will available at Apple Valley Honda, Sims Honda, and Northwest Honda in December and when it lands it will be with a new special feature:  HERE mapping service, the BTC and HD Radio technology.

These services will be offered subscription free and will allow drivers to access real-time traffic information, construction alerts and traffic incidents, and even album art.

According to this article, “Jeff Jury, COO, iBiquity Digital said: “Honda is showing real leadership in bringing the benefits of the HD Radio digital data pipe to their vehicles. Subscription-free real-time traffic, and advanced HD Radio features will now be available in the Civic, one of America’s most popular vehicles. This is another great example of a leading automaker integrating our digital terrestrial technology as part of a connected vehicle strategy. Honda and the entire automotive industry are adopting the latest HD Radio audio and data features very quickly driving the transition of over-the-air AM and FM broadcasting to a digital future.”

“We are excited about the 2014 Honda Civic, but with this announcement about it being the first Honda to have HD Radio, we are even more excited,” said Tony Carter, general manager at Northwest Honda in Bellingham. “I think people are really going to love that real-time traffic information. One accident can change traffic drastically around here that people will really find that tool handy so they can find alternate routes quickly.”

Stop by Northwest Honda, Sims Honda, or Apple Valley Honda in December to take the 2014 Honda Civic for a test drive!

 

Honda Debuts Fuel Cell Concept Car

At the L.A. Auto Show earlier this week, Honda unveiled its hydrogen fuel-cell concept car. The product model will be available in the U.S. in two years!

According to this article, “The Honda FCEV Concept hints at Honda’s future direction for fuel-cell vehicles,” said Tetsuo Iwamura, president and CEO of American Honda Motor Co.  “While this car is a concept, it points toward a very real future.”

As futuristic and far off as “hydrogen fuel-cell” technology sounds, we’re excited to have more options of the types of cars we can choose from…especially ones that will save us money on gas and give fabulous range.

“Like the concept, the production version will seat five passengers and have a range of more than 300 miles, Honda officials said. Both are improvements from the four-seat and 240-mile range of Honda’s Clarity, a fuel-cell vehicle that it has made in limited numbers and leased for testing to about two dozen drivers in California.”

What do you think? Are you excited about hydrogen fuel-cell technology? Would you drive one of these cars?

 

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