Section 8. Integrating IT and Exploring New Energy Sources
Item 3. ITS Initiatives
Further improving safety
With the aim of harnessing the progress of IT and ITS technology for safer vehicle development, TMC announced the Integrated Safety Management Concept in August 2006. The aim was to provide optimal support based on driving conditions so as to eventually realize the ultimate vision of an accident-free vehicle. Under this concept, the individual onboard vehicle safety technologies and systems are coordinated to maximize safety at all stages of driving, and, in the future, coordination with the road infrastructure (road-to-vehicle communications) and utilization of information received from other vehicles (vehicle-to-vehicle communications) will provide optimal support tailored to driving conditions to further contribute to realizing the accident-free vehicle.
TMC declared that use of coordination and cooperation of this kind to boost synergistic safety benefits and enhance safety at all stages of driving (parking, preventive safety, pre-collision safety, collision safety and rescue) was to become the basis of future safety technology and vehicle development.
Based on this integrated safety management concept, the Lexus LS 460 sedan launched in Japan in September 2006 adopted a wide range of driving support technologies including an advanced Pre-Collision System with measures against even rear-end collisions plus cruise control equipped with a tracking function covering all vehicle speeds from stationary to speeds of up to 100 km per hour.
From December 2006 to May 2007, public road tests of a vehicle-infrastructure cooperative system based on ITS technology were carried out in Toyota City. These verification tests were promoted by the National Police Agency, and Toyota participated using 100 vehicles fitted with drive recorders.
Additionally, Toyota also participated in joint ITS-Safety 2010 verification testing and public demonstrations held from December 2008 until March 2009 in the Odaiba area of Tokyo with the relevant government agencies, other Japanese and non-Japanese automakers, electrical goods manufacturers, and other entities. So that these projects could be used to drive development based on Toyota's integrated safety management concept, data was collected, including driving data related to both road-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-vehicle cooperative systems.
Based on this series of initiatives, a dedicated short range communication unit (compatible with ITS spots) able to receive driving support information on highways was offered as an optional feature on the Lexus LS series launched in Japan in October 2009. Toyota is promoting the increased equipping of vehicles with functions that create compatibility with vehicle-infrastructure cooperative systems, such as by providing the Alphard and Vellfire minivans released in Japan in August 2011 with optional Driving Safety Support Systems-compatible navigation systems that support safe driving by receiving data on traffic signals, signboards, and other traffic control information.
Also, as part of initiatives to promote traffic safety based on the evolution of ITS and related technologies, a TMC-wide implementation structure that views people, vehicles, and the traffic environment as an integrated whole was created in March 2005 and efforts towards achieving the ultimate aim of completely eliminating traffic deaths and injuries are being promoted.