Honda has showcased its latest automated development vehicle at GoMentum Station in California the largest secure Connected Vehicle (CV) and Autonomous Vehicle (AV) proving grounds in the USA.
GoMentum Station in Concord is where the Contra Costa Transportation Authority (CCTA) leads and facilitates a collaborative partnership among multiple auto makers, OEMs, academia, public agencies and other partners. The facility features 20 miles (32km) of paved roadway on a 5,000-acre site located in the decommissioned zone of the Concord Naval Weapons Station (CNWS). The site contains paved, city-like roadway grids, buildings and other urban infrastructure, providing a realistic environment to accelerate Honda and other manufacturers’ development of connected and autonomous vehicle (CAV) technologies.
In pursuit of a collision-free society, Honda is broadly deploying advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS), which represent a technological bridge to automated driving technology, across the Honda and Acura line-ups. The majority of its core models available today can be equipped with the Honda Sensing system, and every Acura model is available with the AcuraWatch suite of safety and driver-assistive technologies. The auto maker’s second-generation automated development vehicle was also featured at the GoMentum Station; a modified version of the Acura RLX Sport Hybrid SH-AWD sedan that has been fitted with a new suite of radar, lidar, cameras and GPS sensors, complemented by higher performance CPUs and GPUs, and improved cabling, heat management and circuitry.
Honda intends to put automated driving technologies into practical use on highways around 2020, supported by inter-connected research efforts in Japan, Europe and the USA, where its work at GoMentum Station is spearheaded by the Honda Research Institute USA. “Automated vehicles have the potential to significantly improve safety and expand access to mobility,” said Jim Keller, senior manager and chief engineer at Honda R&D Americas. “We believe that safe and secure sites like GoMentum provide a unique opportunity to accelerate technology development, and the advent of a cooperative car society.”
Honda was keen to point out that its demonstration of CAV technology at GoMentum highlights the need for federal action to preserve the 5.9GHz radio spectrum for the use of Dedicated Short-Range Communications (DSRC). The wireless technology has been optimized for vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) safety, and other ITS applications, and is currently under threat from other organizations and industries looking for new bandwidth.
Edward Cohen, vice president of government and industry affairs at Honda North America, stated, “DSRC-enabled vehicles can make the nation’s roads safer for all users, including pedestrians. To accomplish the goal of enhancing road-user safety, we need the support of policy makers to preserve 5.9GHz radio spectrum.”
John Bozzella, president and CEO of the Association of Global Automakers, added, “Spectrum is a prized resource; and there is no better use of the portion dedicated to Intelligent Transportation Systems than to save lives on our nation’s highways. We need to ensure that public policy encourages the significant societal benefits that come with connected and automated vehicle technologies.”