Providing opportunities for learning traffic safety nationwide
Honda believes that in a society that depends on an increasingly complex mix of transportation modalities, pursuing safety for all people—not only drivers, but also pedestrians, cyclists, and other transportation users—makes an important contribution to the effort to bring about a more advanced mobility society.
For that reason, we believe that it is essential to undertake traffic safety awareness-raising activities tailored for each generation, from children to seniors, hand in hand with local communities. To put this vision into practice, Honda is actively pursuing regionally grounded activities that are advanced and distinctive in character in the three areas of training instructors, making training equipment available, and developing educational programs and techniques/developing and providing educational equipment.
FY2012 priority themes and future developments
In 2011, Honda's traffic safety education initiatives marked their 42nd year. In addition to responding to changes in the environment in which our transportation-oriented society exists during that time, we have sought to ensure the safety of all participants in that society, including not only drivers, but also everyone from infants to the elderly. This year, we continued last year's initiatives by identifying two priority themes around which to pursue our activities: further enhancing regionally grounded activities and creating and disseminating the expertise required by society.
Further enhancing regionally grounded activities: to expand Honda's educational expertise throughout the country
Honda has created Regional Branches at its factories in Kumamoto, Tochigi, Saitama, Hamamatsu, and Suzuka. These branches serve as new activity bases for affecting a nationwide expansion of traffic safety education undertaken hand in hand with local communities, and we're working to expand their activities to nearby areas.
Full-time instructors assigned to each Regional Branch support the training of regional instructors who will spearhead activities in their communities and make experiential training equipment available. We've also laid the groundwork for the ability to offer traffic safety education hand in hand with local communities while partnering with entities such as local governments, police, educational institutions, local driving schools, and Honda affiliates. This year, we're working to further expand these regionally grounded activities in an effort to create a structure that facilitates the study of traffic safety in every region of Japan.
Among a range of initiatives, the Regional Branches that are responsible for the traffic safety domain have now been pursuing regional safety activities for four years, during which time they have established themselves as key bases from which to expand opportunities for learning about traffic safety and educational expertise throughout the country. A total of 10,000 instructors were trained to oversee regionally-organized traffic safety education programs, and this year alone they communicated the importance of safety to some 500,000 people in 485 villages, towns, and cities across Japan while utilizing Honda's expertise. Additionally, we trained the first "class" of 67 Honda Partnership Instructors drawn from employees of 36 Honda affiliates that have sponsored the activities since the year before last, and those personnel are now hard at work promoting traffic safety in their companies' local areas, for example by holding hands-on traffic safety courses for parents and their children. This year, we trained the second class of instructors consisting of 33 trainees from 21 companies, bringing the total number of affiliate instructors who have been trained in this program, which is expected to be expanded in the future, to 100.
Activities in the driving safety domain included experiential training for companies and the general public at seven Traffic Education Centers located throughout Japan and passing safety on to customers at Honda sales facilities. We're working to enhance partnerships with driving schools that are actively undertaking traffic safety education in their local communities so that we can further expand these activities and instill safe driving habits.
In this way, traffic safety knowledge and awareness are steadily expanding as the efforts of instructors throughout Japan who are passionate about traffic safety earn praise and trust from their local communities. During fiscal 2012, the scope of these activities expanded to exceed 770,000 personnel in 32 prefectures.
Going forward, Honda will continue to provide traffic safety education expertise to regional instructors while working with them to increase awareness of traffic safety among local residents.
Creating and disseminating the expertise required by society
Today, a large number of people are working to overcome brain dysfunction and other challenges so that they can reintegrate themselves into society. Studies indicate that about half of those individuals have past experience driving, and that two-thirds of those drivers desire to drive again at some point. However, many doctors and other medical professionals with leadership roles in the rehabilitation process express concern and uncertainty about the criteria that should be employed in determining whether a given patient is capable of driving.
Responding to this feedback, we embraced the challenge of applying the simulation technology we have been accumulating for many years to develop a new device capable of helping medical professionals judge whether patients are capable of driving. As a result of these efforts, Honda launched rehabilitation-use driving competence evaluation software for use with the Honda Safety Navi, a simple automobile driving simulator, in March 2012. The software has already been introduced on a trial basis at a number of medical institutions, where it is being used as a rehabilitation program for getting qualified patients back on the road. The software is inspiring high expectations as a support device that will enable rehabilitation instruction related to driving based on a fixed series of evaluation standards. Additionally, in April Honda Traffic Education Centers introduced a safe driving support program that puts participants behind the wheel as a way to assist in the final evaluation of driving competence in rehabilitation using actual vehicles. By linking that program with rehabilitation software, we are striving to support patients' return to driving through a solution with both hardware and software components. Going forward, we will continue to develop educational expertise, tools, and other resources based on an awareness of relevant hardware with the assumption that they will be used at Traffic Education Centers as well as the easy-to-understand educational tools that regional instructors need, starting with the development of new tools crafted in response to social expectations such as these rehabilitation needs.
Recognizing the emergence of traffic accident deaths as a global social issue in recent years, we have been accelerating the rollout of overseas initiatives in response to conditions in individual countries by taking advantage of our ability to play a leading role in the world based on our awareness of Honda's status as a longstanding pioneer in traffic safety education. Specifically, we are drawing up a long-term vision and action plan while working with local subsidiaries. This effort has identified India, Vietnam, and Indonesia, where the motorcycle market is growing rapidly, as key regions. Going forward, we will accelerate domestic activities based on an awareness of Asia.