Onboard safety equipment and systems are evolving at Toyota, where the latest Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) technology is being applied to the development of Vehicle-infrastructure Cooperative Systems with relevant government agencies and other private corporations. These systems enable information that onboard sensors fail to acquire to be transferred from sensors installed on the roads to vehicles, as well as shared between vehicles. Providing the driver with such information leads to safe driving and accident prevention.
Dedicated Short Range Communication (DSRC) is a traffic information service that, as an addition to conventional ETC services, operates primarily on expressways and uses bidirectional communication between vehicles and infrastructure to support safe driving. Specifically, this system makes it possible to inform the driver of dangers at the earliest opportunity, such as by notifying the driver of any stationary vehicle or traffic congestion beyond a curve that affords poor visibility before the driver reaches the curve, and also by notifying the driver of falling objects before they are encountered. Operation of this system began in FY2009. DSRC units for ITS spot services went on sale at the same time, and the number of adopted models for the service has been expanding gradually. As of May 2012, infrastructure was installed at 1,600 locations throughout Japan, mainly on expressways.
Providing information on obstacles ahead
This system supports the safe driving of a vehicle by sending information from transport infrastructure to the vehicle, including information on areas with poor visibility and traffic control information (traffic lights, signs, etc.), with a main focus on ordinary roads. It also supports safe driving by preventing drivers from overlooking red lights by informing them of red lights before they reach intersections with traffic lights, and also by preventing accidents caused by collisions through the provision of information on nearby vehicles at intersections with poor visibility.
In tandem with the introduction of this service in 2011, Toyota installed DSSS driving support functions on its HDD Car Navigation Systems.
Sending red light warnings
In addition to bidirectional communication between vehicles and infrastructure, Toyota is working to develop services that contribute to environmental improvements and further reductions in the number of traffic accidents through the direct communication and continuous exchange of information among vehicles, or between vehicles and pedestrians. These systems aim to prevent collisions between vehicles and pedestrians at intersections where there is poor visibility, as well as to prevent crashes and other accidents with oncoming vehicles when making a right-hand turn. Toyota is engaging in proactive development to enable the early practical application of these systems through participation in Toyota City driving experiments on public roads from March 2012 and other initiatives.
Systems that help drivers avoid overlooking pedestrian crossings
Amid the aging of society, declining birth rates, global warming, and other major environmental changes, societal expectations are looking toward further sustainable mobility and universal robots.
In line with our philosophy of contributing to the community and people by enriching society through manufacturing, in order to realize societies where all people can lead more enjoyable, affluent lifestyles, Toyota is developing partner robots that are useful to people by combining cutting-edge technologies from various disciplines including the robotic, automotive, and IT fields.
In the future, expanded pilot projects will be carried out at the same time as development, with the goal of practical use in the early 2010s.
As society ages and birth rates decline, Toyota aims to improve the quality of life (QOL) of all people in realms such as nursing, medical treatment, and daily life. Toyota develops and tests a wide range of assist robots through medical and engineering cooperation with organizations such as the Toyota Memorial Hospital, Fujita Health University, and the National Center for Geriatrics and Gerontology. These robots are used to support physical functions such as walking, movement, and patient transfer from indoors to outdoors, independence to nursing support, and the recovery of functions to assistance.
Robots are the only solution to providing support in the aging society of the future. Research is being undertaken on various types of robots, and I look forward to the practical application of robots such as the Walk Assist Robot based on its high level of performance.
Fujita Health University
F-Grid Concepts is a new initiative with the aim of addressing energy issues amplified by the disaster, such as security, environmental performance, and economic efficiency, through comprehensive energy management that is not limited to Toyota plants but also encompasses the entire industrial and surrounding areas.
As the name suggests, the WBCSD carries out surveys and offers advice based on the three pillars of economic growth, environmental protection and social development in its aim for sustainable development. Furthermore, in regard to ISO, the organization has engaged in activities which have prompted study of the ISO14000 series through seeking to establish international standards regarding environmental management systems. As a member since the establishment of the organization in 1995, Toyota is taking part in a variety of projects such as the Sustainable Mobility Project.
A new Secretary-general was appointed in January 2012, and the sustainability proposals to date are now entering a phase of practical application.
World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), head office: Geneva
Toyota participates in the Urban Infrastructure Initiative (UII), launched in January 2010, as one of 15 corporate members from 8 nations. The aim of the UII is to select several cities around the world and collect and formulate proposals on sustainable urban regeneration through talks with those cities. The project has entered its third year and has reached a stage where discussions with the selected cities are progressing and a report on the proposals is being put together. The UII plans to issue the report in 2013.
To portray its vision of a sustainable, mobile society, the WBCSD launched the Sustainable Mobility Project (SMP) in 2000. In the
project, the report, "Mobility 2030: Meeting the challenges to sustainability" was compiled in July 2004. Seven goals were
outlined in the report, and it was suggested that there was a necessity to make use of the various forms of new mobility systems in
order to improve the mobility opportunities of people all over the world.
In 2006, the organization took part in the "Mobility for Development" project, and highlighted the situations in Tanzania, India, China and Brazil.
Rio+20, the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development was held in Rio de Janeiro in June 2012, exactly 20 years after the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (Earth Summit).
In Japan, people with an interest in Rio+20 gathered to stimulate dialog between stakeholders and established the Japanese National Preparatory Committee for Rio+20 with the aim of providing input to Rio+20. Toyota too, took part in the committee as a member of the KEIDANREN (Japan Business Federation), and Toyota do Brasil provided the official car (Prius) at Rio+20.
The WBCSD issued Changing Pace, a discussion paper on policy recommendations contributing to the realization of Vision 2050 in preparation for Rio+20.
Changing Pace issued
in May 2012