TOKYO, Japan, March 1, 2013 - Honda Motor Co., Ltd. announced plans to further advance notification functions such as tsunami warnings for the Internavi LINC for Honda automobile owners in Japan and Honda Moto LINC for motorcycle owners in Japan, smartphone applications that utilize Honda's Internavi car navigation system ("Internavi-related apps"). Moreover, starting at the end of this month, Honda will add a new function that displays the "Evacuation Map" created by a volunteer group at Nikken Sekkei Ltd., upon the issuance of disaster warnings, such as tsunami warnings.
With a very intuitive display, the "Evacuation Map" shows information such as distance to an evacuation site, the time required to walk to that site and the possible routes to get there. Utilizing its collective experience including related to the Great East Japan Earthquake, Honda is committed to strengthening functions of Internavi-related apps that will be useful for preventing or mitigating the impact of disasters.
Furthermore, at the end of this month, Honda will begin offering a new free-of-charge smartphone app called "Internavi Report," which enables users to post and share icon-based information including related to disasters, weather and road closures which may influence vehicle transportation.
When the Japan Meteorological Agency issues a tsunami warning/advisory, notification will be sent to the smartphone of the users of Internavi-related apps who has the possibility*1 of being in the area subject to the warning/advisory. To date, such notifications could be sent only when the Internavi-related apps are in use. With the new advancement, the notification will be sent even when the apps are not in use. Moreover, in order to increase the certainty of providing information to those who need it, the scope of the geographic area subject to the notification was expanded.
After a tsunami warning/advisory notification is sent, the "Evacuation Map Link" button will be displayed on the smartphone screen. By touching the button, the "Evacuation Map" will be displayed. The "Evacuation Map" will provide a color-coded road map that helps the users know at a glance the location of the nearest evacuation site and the fastest route on foot. The "Evacuation Map" is viewable at all times even when there is no tsunami warning/advisory in effect.
The "Evacuation Map" was manually created on a road map by members of the volunteer group at Nikken Sekkei Ltd., who worked with people in each community to determine the locations of evaluation sites, routes, and required time. The "Evacuation Map" for seven areas*3 in Miyagi, Iwate and Kanagawa Prefectures will be registered for the Internavi-related apps. When a tsunami waning/advisory is issued in any of the seven areas and when there is a possibility that any user who subscribes to this service*4 is in that area, the "Evacuation Map Link" button will be displayed.
When there is a possibility that the user*5 is in the area subject to a tsunami waning/advisory, the user's pre-registered contacts such as family members will automatically receive an e-mail with the location information of the user. Those who received this e-mail can confirm the location of the user on a map through internet or smartphone/cellphone website. Moreover, the user can communicate his/her safety situation to the pre-registered contacts by using the apps or the car navigation system. To date, this service was only available in the event of an earthquake with an intensity above the lower-5 level on the Japanese scale. Now, the service is also available in the event of a tsunami warning/advisory.
"Internavi Report" is a smartphone*6 app that enables users to post and share information*7 about events which may influence vehicle transportation including disasters, weather, and road closures. When the user selects a category of information to be posted, categorized icons will be displayed. By touching one of the icons, the information will be posted. The user can also add a comment. This app will be available for free download for the Internavi LINC and Honda Moto LINC users. The detailed road and weather information that is difficult to grasp based on existing data will be made available through information posted by users, supporting more comfortable and safer mobility of drivers.
Based on the passion to provide vehicle users with safety and peace of mind by providing information, Honda's initiative to utilize the Internavi system for disaster prevention/mitigation began with a service to offer disaster prevention information to the Internavi system. After the Great East Japan Earthquake, Honda advanced its initiatives such as providing a map with real world traffic results to Google Inc. Honda will continue striving to establish a navigation system that demonstrates strengths in disaster prevention and to make its efforts to realize further useful services.