Honda is the latest carmaker to ramp up the push towards semi-autonomous vehicles, with a testing program set to begin soon on the streets of Utsunomiya City in Japan

The program incorporates several companies under the banner Universal Traffic Management Systems (UTMS), and aims to provide feedback for future Car2Car and Car2Infrastucture technology.

A key focus of the trial is to pass traffic signal information from Car2Car, with the aim of reducing congestion and fuel usage while improving road safety. The system receives information from the approaching traffic lights to suggest an average speed to the driver, timing their arrival as the lights change.

For example, travel at 62km/h in a 70km/h zone and you’ll arrive in time to see the light turn green, eliminating the need to waste fuel by braking and lifting the average speed for the journey.

If a driver is already too close to traffic lights and must stop, the system will advise the driver so they can begin conserving energy immediately and avoid braking close to the stop line.


For drivers stopped at red lights, the system can display a count-down to when the light will turn green, putting an end to the days of eagerly anticipating the ‘go’ signal.

Up to 100 Hondas will take part in the trial, with five routes chosen in the test city to provide the best feedback for future use.

Honda plans to analyse fuel usage, carbon dioxide emissions, average speed and traffic patterns to determine if any improvement warrants further research and development.

Testing for Universal Traffic Management Systems is due to begin next month.