Toyota’s ITS Proving Ground Testing for Passenger and Pedestrian Safety

Toy­ota Motor Corp. is tak­ing intel­li­gent trans­port sys­tems (ITS) seri­ous­ly at its Higashi-Fuji Tech­ni­cal Cen­tre in Susono City, Japan, locat­ed on about eight acres that repli­cates a real urban envi­ron­ment. That includes inter­sect­ing streets, pedes­tri­an cross­walks, and traf­fic sig­nals. The ITS Prov­ing Ground was opened in Novem­ber of last year to run a num­ber of inter­ac­tive tests between spe­cial­ly-equipped Toy­ota vehi­cles. The cars include fea­tures such as two-way radio com­mu­ni­ca­tions, voice-based warn­ing sys­tems and on-dash LCD dis­plays that can show the sta­tus of near­by traf­fic lights and indi­cate the posi­tions of oncom­ing vehi­cles that could be obstruct­ed from view. To meet­ing its objec­tives, the ITS has been equipped with opti­cal bea­cons, gov­ern­ment-allo­cat­ed 760 MHz trans­mit­ters to link the var­i­ous ITS detec­tion and com­mu­ni­ca­tion sys­tems, vehi­cle detec­tion sen­sors and pedes­tri­an detec­tion sen­sors.

“The ITS Prov­ing Ground will be used to expe­dite the devel­op­ment of infra­struc­ture-coop­er­a­tive safe dri­ving sup­port sys­tems with the aim of reduc­ing traf­fic acci­dents at inter­sec­tions and acci­dents involv­ing pedes­tri­ans,” said Sei­go Kuzu­ma­ki, sec­re­tary of chief safe­ty tech­nol­o­gy offi­cer and project gen­er­al man­ag­er at Toy­ota. “On pub­lic roads, we will main­ly test the effec­tive­ness and the user accep­tance of sys­tems.”

At the ITS track, the stop lights, pedes­tri­an cross­ings and oth­er traf­fic sen­sors are con­nect­ed to their own two-way trans­mit­ters. The idea is that an ITS-equipped vehi­cle can query near­by traf­fic con­trol sys­tems via radio about approach­ing vehi­cles and pedes­tri­ans, as well as the sta­tus of stop lights, and inform those sys­tems of the ITS car’s posi­tion in real time. Toy­ota is look­ing into pedes­tri­an-to-vehi­cle com­mu­ni­ca­tions, which includes analy­sis of acci­dents involv­ing pedes­tri­ans and pre­vent­ing these col­li­sions with pedes­tri­an detec­tion sen­sors installed on the road to detect pedes­tri­ans and warn cars about their pres­ence. The ITS Prov­ing Ground reflects Toyota’s cor­po­rate goal to achieve “zero casu­al­ties from traf­fic acci­dents,” Kuzu­ma­ki said.



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