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by Tim Beissmann

Honda has started trials on a world-first in-car technology that aims to break up traffic jams.

The system, developed by Honda in collaboration with the Research Center for Advanced Sciences and Technology at the University of Tokyo, analyses the input patterns of drivers to determine if their vehicle is likely to create a traffic jam.

Rather than providing navigation information to help drivers avoid existing congestion, the technology monitors the vehicle’s acceleration and braking inputs and gives the driver information in the form of colour-coded dashboard displays that encourages smooth, congestion-busting driving.

By reducing the intensity of acceleration and deceleration by trailing vehicles, the system helps minimise the incidence of traffic congestion.

Honda says internal tests have shown the technology to increase the average speed of trailing vehicles by 23 per cent and improve fuel efficiency by eight per cent.

With the intention to bring the technology to market, the Japanese manufacturer will start the first public-road tests in Italy and Indonesia in May and June in an attempt to prove the effectiveness of the system in minimising congestion.

Along with increasing travel time, traffic congestion leads to higher CO2 emissions and increased potential for rear-end collisions. Honda believes its technology could be a positive step towards its goal of creating a congestion-free mobility society all around the world.