Honda Motor Co., Ltd. will celebrate the 50th anniversary of its Driving Safety Promotion Center tomorrow, October 1, 2020.
In 1970 when Japan was in a fast-growing stage of motorization, Honda became the first*1 among automobile and motorcycle manufacturers to begin activities to promote safe driving by establishing the Driving Safety Promotion Center. During the past 50 years, the Center expanded its activities throughout Japan and the world.
Honda approach to safety
Honda has an environmental and safety vision to “realize the joy and freedom of mobility and a sustainable society where people can enjoy life.” Toward the realization of this vision, Honda has been working under the global safety slogan, “Safety for Everyone,” which represents Honda’s approach of providing safety and confidence not only for riders and drivers but for everyone sharing the road, ranging from young children to senior citizens. With this approach to safety, Honda is striving to realize a collision-free society and has committed itself to safety initiatives that include both hardware areas such as technology development and software areas such as human-focused safety promotion activities.
Basic philosophy and initiatives of Honda driving safety promotion activities
For 50 years, Honda has been conducting human-focused driving safety promotion activities which support everyone involved in a mobility society to increase their experience, knowledge and awareness.
Honda’s activities have been based on asking Honda motorcycle/automobile dealers to discuss safety directly with customers at their dealerships in order to “pass on safety education from person to person,” and “providing participatory hands-on education” programs where participants experience potential hazards in a safe environment using simulators and/or actual vehicles.
Over the past 50 years, the Driving Safety Promotion Center has been serving its roles under three pillars: instructor training, opportunity creation and software development. Examples of such initiatives include the Safety Coordinator System introduced in 1994 to train sales/service staff members who can provide customers with advice related to automobile safety; the establishment of seven Traffic Education Centers in Japan, which have their roots in the Suzuka Circuit Traffic Education Center that opened in 1964 and was used to train motorcycle police officers; educational programs developed for young children and senior citizens; and the development of educational devices such as the Honda Riding Simulator, first introduced in 1996.
Through these initiatives and in cooperation with its motorcycle and automobile dealers, local corporations, governments and schools, Honda has provided traffic safety education and training for more than 6.57 million*2 people in Japan to date.
Offering traffic safety and driver education inside and outside Japan
In 1972, two years after the establishment of the Driving Safety Promotion Center, Honda created a division within the Center dedicated to facilitating driving safety promotion outside Japan. Including the establishment of a Traffic Education Center in Brazil in 1978, Honda has been building necessary systems and capabilities outside Japan and providing know-how and other forms of support to local Honda operations striving to develop local human resources to promote traffic safety in their respective countries. Honda subsidiaries are offering activities suitable to the traffic conditions of their respective areas, and these activities have been expanded to 41 countries and regions throughout the world, including Japan, as of 2020.
Especially in Asian countries where motorization is progressing rapidly, Honda has been proactive in conducting activities suitable to the actual conditions of respective countries and regions, including promoting safety at dealership locations at the time of product deliveries, offering driver education at Traffic Education Centers and conducting safety education programs for students and young children.
Advancement of driving safety promotion activities ahead of the times
In 2020, as Honda marks the 50th anniversary of the establishment of the Driving Safety Promotion Center, the impact of the coronavirus pandemic is requiring people to practice new ways of life including social distancing. While maintaining the focus on “passing on safety education from person to person” and “providing participatory hands-on education”, Honda began exploring new methods of safety education.
Honda believes that utilization of new educational methods which enable learning at a level most suitable to each individual at anytime and anywhere will lead to an increase in educational opportunities. Such methods include adoptive learning*3 optimized for each individual user and learning through simulated experience enabled by the use of virtual reality (VR)*4 and head-mounted display (HMD)*5 technologies.
Moreover, while envisioning a future society where autonomous driving will become widely available, Honda will begin exploring the advancement of safety education devices, including the utilization of VR technologies that enable users to experience advanced technologies more casually. In this way, people can develop a more accurate understanding about the benefits and limitations of advanced safety and driver-assistive technologies.
By combining such educational methods developed ahead of the times and the real-world hands-on education Honda has cultivated through its activities to date, Honda will strive for the advancement of traffic safety education that only Honda can realize.
In its 2030 Vision, Honda expresses its determination to “lead the realization of a collision-free society.” While leveraging safety know-how amassed through its 50-year activities inside and outside Japan, Honda will continue and advance its driving safety promotion activities in the pursuit of a society where the joy and freedom of mobility will be provided with safety and confidence to everyone sharing the road.
＜History of Honda Driving Safety Promotion Activities＞
1964 Suzuka Circuit Traffic Education Center opened
1970 Honda’s Driving Safety Promotion Center established
1972 Committee to facilitate driving safety promotion outside Japan established
1978 Traffic Education Center opened in Brazil
1985 Singapore Safety Driving Centre (SSDC) opened
1994 Traffic Education Center opened in Thailand
Safety Coordinator System introduction at Honda automobile dealers in Japan
1995 “Ayatorii” traffic safety education program for children in the lower grades of elementary school developed in Japan
1996 Honda Riding Simulator introduced
2001 Honda Driving Simulator introduced
2012 Driving assessment software for rehabilitation patients developed
2018 Advanced Safety Coordinator System introduced to Honda automobile dealers in Japan to offer more accurate explanation about advanced safety and driver- assistive technologies
*1Honda internal research as of September 2020.
*2Honda internal research as of September 2020.
*3Education method that matches abilities and aptitudes of each individual.
*4Virtual Reality is a technology used to make the user perceive that a computer-generated virtual space is reality and/or the virtual reality created that way.
*5Display device to be worn on the head