Toyota today announced it has begun operating its ITS Proving Ground, a test site within the grounds of the Higashi-Fuji Technical Center in Susono City, Shizuoka Prefecture, established to test technologies for reducing traffic accidents, through use of Intelligent Transport System (ITS) technology.
The new 3.5-hectare ITS Proving Ground simulates an urban environment including roads and traffic signals. The site is equipped with a road-to-vehicle communications system consisting of a vehicle detection system, a pedestrian detection system, a course monitoring system, traffic signals and control devices.
The communications system runs on the 700 MHz band, which easily diffracted meaning reception over wide areas is possible, making it effective for communications with vehicles at intersections and other locations with poor visibility.
With full-scale operations of the proving ground, Toyota will also be able to expand its research and development of environmental systems designed to improve fuel efficiency as well as safe driving support systems that seek to prevent accidents involving pedestrians and other vehicles in urban areas and at intersections.
Toyota is also conducting research and development on next-generation vehicle-infrastructure cooperative systems that support safe driving and prevent accidents involving pedestrians and other vehicles at intersections with poor visibility this is by continuous exchange of road-to-vehicle, vehicle-to-vehicle and pedestrian- to-vehicle information.
Toyota's R&D on individual onboard safety devices and systems is based on its Integrated Safety Management Concept. This approach includes driver support in all stages through integration rather than considering each onboard safety technology and system individually. Toyota said it's working on wide-ranging traffic-safety initiatives by participating in the development of safer traffic environments and promoting traffic safety education.
New safety technologies to reduce parking collisions
Two newly developed safety systems - Intelligent Clearance Sonar and Drive-start Control - were also announced are part of Toyota's initiatives aimed to eliminate traffic casualties. Recent data (from the Japanese Institute for Traffic Accident Research and Data Analysis) shows that, in Japan, approximately 7,000 collisions occur a year as a result of pedal misapplication, especially in areas such as parking lots. Toyota will offer new systems to help mitigate collision damage in the event of pedal misapplication or erroneous gear shifting, thereby providing even greater peace of mind. Intelligent Clearance Sonar uses sonar to detect obstacles hidden from the driver's view, automatically applying the brakes if the vehicle is at risk of collision. Drive-start Control controls engine output to mitigate collisions that may occur as a result of erroneous gear shifting or pedal misapplication while the vehicle is stationary or moving at low speed. Both systems are planned for launch in upcoming vehicles.
Intelligent Clearance Sonar - When the clearance sonar detects an obstacle the vehicle is at risk of colliding with, such as a wall, when starting off in a parking garage or other similar environment, the system sounds an alarm, reduces engine or motor output and automatically applies the brakes.
Drive-start Control - If the vehicle gear stick is erroneously shifted when the accelerator pedal is applied, or if other abnormal gear shifting is detected, a warning is displayed and engine or motor output is reduced to limit sudden starts or acceleration. For example, if while reversing in a parking lot, a driver unexpectedly strikes an object, the driver may become startled and shift gears from reverse to drive while continuing to press the accelerator. Drive-start Control reduces engine or motor output if such an instance is detected.
Collision avoidance assist system effective at high speeds
Toyota also announced its Pre-collision System (PCS) - collision avoidance it says is effective in helping mitigate high-speed collisions.
Research, it says, has shown that a speed of 40 km/h to 60 km/h at the time of a rear-end collision is the range in which the number of fatal and injury-causing accidents starts to increase. The newly developed PCS uses millimeter-wave radar to detect the risk of a collision with a vehicle from behind, with the system warning the driver via sound and display alerts to prompt braking when such a risk is detected.
When the driver applies the brakes, PCS enables deceleration of up to 60 km/h by greatly increasing the braking force by up to twice that of the average force applied by drivers. If the brakes are not applied, automatic deceleration of 15 km/h to approximately 30 km/h is possible.
More than 90 percent of rear-end collisions occur when the difference in speed between the preceding and following vehicle is within 60 km/h.
Although full collision prevention capabilities may not be possible in certain road environments or under certain weather conditions, Toyota is aiing to develop a system based on real-world collision data, and has, with its newly developed system, achieved rear-end-collision reducing-effects "at the highest level in the industry".
The PCS was developed to be used in a wide variety of Toyota models, and is planned to be a feature of soon-to-be-launched models.
TMC Opens Intelligent Transport System Test Site in Japan
TMC develops safety technologies to reduce parking collisions
TMC develops collision avoidance assist system effective at high speeds