Tech

Toyota Commits to Connected Cars in the United States by 2021

Toyota Commits to Connected Cars in the United States by 2021

The move will deliver enhanced safety benefits to drivers, including increased road safety and efficiency, with better advances in connected- and automated driving systems.

Toyota is hoping to adopt this short-range communication system across most of its U.S. new vehicle portfolio by the mid-2020s and that other manufacturers will then do the same. Vehicles that can communicate with each other can warn of heavy traffic, potholes, accidents, bad weather or other road hazards that can get in the way of a commute.

The technology will enable cars to send data on their location and speed to surrounding vehicles and roadside infrastructure to curb crashes.

Toyota said communication can also be enabled in providing drivers with helpful information in real-time such as potential hazards, or slow or stopped vehicles ahead or signals, signs and road conditions that may be hard to see. This enables the vehicles to eschew cellular data charges and since the technology is based on industry standards, Toyota and Lexus models will be able to communicate with vehicles produced by other automakers.

In December 2016, the US Transportation Department released a proposal for V2V communications, setting the requirements for the deployment of the technology. But until 2017, it was only available in General Motors' Cadillac CTS model.

"Talking" vehicles, which have been tested in pilot projects and by USA carmakers for more than a decade, use dedicated short-range communications to transmit data up to 300 metres, including location, direction and speed.

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The technology "has been tested and proven over the last several years and is already being used in many parts of the country", the group said. The detail of the proposal insisted all vehicles "speak the same language through a standard technology". More than 100,000 vehicles are using this technology.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said past year the regulation could eventually cost between $135 and $300 per new vehicle, or up to $5 billion annually but could prevent up to 600,000 crashes and reduce costs by $71 billion annually when fully deployed.

But it could prevent up to 600,000 crashes and reduce costs by US$71 billion annually when fully deployed, the report said.

Consumers Union, the advocacy division of Consumer Reports welcomed Toyota's announcement and urged other manufacturers to roll out V2V technology.

In January 2017, the U.S. Department of Transportation announced Federal Highway Administration V2I guidance aimed at improving safety and mobility by accelerating the deployment of V2I communication systems.

"We need to make a technology choice when there's no regulatory requirement in place", said John Kenney, director of networking research at the Toyota InfoTechnology Center in California.