Making our fuel go further isn’t just about driving vehicles with better fuel economy ratings: it’s also about adjusting our driving behaviour. Now Honda has revealed the extent of how much fuel we can save just by being more efficient in our approach to traffic congestion.
The Japanese carmaker has conducted public road testing of new traffic congestion minimisation technology to see how it can help reduce the build-up of traffic. It has found, through its testing in Indonesia from September 2012-February 2013, that fuel efficiency could be boosted by more than 20 per cent.
In order to prevent the disorderly flow of traffic, drivers should adjust their behaviour to surrounding vehicles: and so Honda has developed a smartphone application that alters the colours of the display so drivers can quickly see whether he or she is aligned with the surrounding vehicles. When driving patterns are normal, the display is green: and when the driving pattern could cause congestion it turns to blue (pictured).
When used in public road-testing, the app is able to monitor both acceleration and deceleration determining whether it could create traffic congestion. Indeed Honda tested two systems: a stand-alone system that determines if driving patterns can lead to more traffic congestion; and an interactive system that connects multiple vehicles to give assistance to the driver to behave considerately.
The results showed that with the stand-alone system, the delays in the development of congestion ranged from three-six minutes; and from four-six minutes with the interactive system. Changes in average speed were more moderate by 60 per cent and 70 per cent respectively; while fuel economy was boosted by 20 per cent and 22 per cent respectively.
It is also believed that the app could help boost safety and now Honda is set to continue its development of the technology: including adding a function that will employ an on-board device to give users information about congestion patterns.
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