Toyota ITS Connect: New system equipped in Prius and other models

Real-time road information transmitted to improve safety of autonomous vehicles



The cutting edge national
The cooperative ITS service being promoted by government and private sectors and ITS spot service (center bottom) have already been implemented. The next-generation DSSS in the upper left (other than the Signal Information Drive System (SIDS)) have recently been practically realized by Toyota. The company is currently developing three other systems and SIDS. (Source: ITS Japan)

 This report will examine ITS Connect, which was equipped in the all-new Prius, the facelifted Crown Majesta, and Royal/Athlete, three Toyota models that were launched in Japan in the second half of 2015.

 The ITS spot service (a road safety assist system installed on highways) and DSSS (Driving Safety Support System on public roads), which are already being practically applied, are referred to as Cooperative ITS (Intelligent Transportation Systems). ITS support independent safe driving systems and contribute to a reduction in the number of accidents by acquiring information that cannot be fully captured by the sensors installed on vehicles. The ITS Connect system introduced by Toyota implements elaborate safety measures by exceeding conventional cooperative ITS in comprehending and transmitting detailed changes to traffic information in real-time through utilization of infrastructure-to-vehicle (I2V) and vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communication.

 Toyota’s ITS Connect uses a wireless frequency band (760MHz) for dedicated ITS use to realize safety measures including “head-on collision alerts” through I2V communication, and V2V communication to supplement “radar cruise control.” Toyota is now working on systems that use V2V communication to prevent right-angle collisions, and technologies for pedestrian-to-vehicle (P2V) communication.

 These systems will enables vehicle movement prediction, for example, when merging onto the highway, so this is considered essential technology for realizing driving intelligence in the autonomous driving systems of tomorrow.

 One challenge is that there were only around 50 intersections with I2V infrastructure installed in Tokyo and Aichi Prefecture at the end of March 2016, and national deployment of the system is projected to be massively expensive. Toyota has decided to make the ITS Connect available on select models under the thinking that increased availability will promote a national drive to install more roadside infrastructure.

 At the same time, Daimler installed Car-to-X communication, which communicates between smart phones, in the all-new Mercedes-Benz S-Class launched in 2013 and the E-Class launched in 2016 as technology that utilizes V2V communication. The company adopted the communication technology first in the form of a smart phone to smart phone communication for early market introduction, but is currently developing another dedicated V2V communication system.

 Honda has implemented Wi-Fi communication technology where vehicles communicate with each other and pedestrians who have a dedicated smart phone application.

 (Note) When this report mentions a “right-turn” or “left-turn,” it is referring to these operations as they are done in countries that drive on the left-side of the road like Japan.

Related report
Toyota accelerates efforts for "connected car technology(Apr.2016)

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