We’ve all seen the commercials by now: happy, relaxed people letting their cars do most of the driving for them as they sing along to music or share stories with passengers. But those features might not be of much use everywhere. Here in Ohio, we’re about to find out just how much work is left to do before we can let our cars take the wheel.
Honda Research Institute will send two vehicles into Ohio as part of a pilot program to check for faded or missing highway lane markings, so our roads will be safer for vehicles’ driver-assistance cameras and GPS systems, according to a report by Car and Driver magazine.
Road markings will be classified on a scale ranging from green for ideal, to red for “needs repair,” and gray for no lane lines at all. Honda Research Institute will then pass along that information to the state Department of Transportation for help in road maintenance decisions.
Early next year, Ohioans will see “the beginning of an effort to build out (Honda’s) road testing capabilities,” Car and Driver reported. If it works well in the Buckeye State, the program could be expanded.
It is a good project, and one that will give Ohioans important data about the state of our roads, whether we are planning to use driver-assistance cameras or not. It also can serve as a good reminder to Ohio’s state agencies that our world is changing quickly, and there will be many more ways in which we must be sure we are keeping up. Not all of those projects will come with the assistance of major corporations. Lawmakers and King Bureaucracy will have to take the lead for the next round.