Toyota has officially begun full-scale operations at its new, state-of-the-art Intelligent Transport System Proving Ground. Nestled on an 8.6 acre plot at Toyota's Higashi-Fuji Technical Center, the ITS Proving Ground will explore ways to reduce or eliminate traffic accidents via wireless communications systems based on Toyota's Integrated Safety Management Concept.
Designed to mimic an urban environment, the ITS Proving Ground features real-world elements such as traffic signals and cross walks. However, unlike the real-world the ITS Proving Ground is also equipped with a vehicle detection system, a pedestrian detection system, a course monitoring system and control devices.
Using the the 700 MHz band, Toyota is testing how wireless communications systems could support safer driving. Toyota's test facility uses road-to-vehicle, vehicle-to-vehicle and pedestrian-to-vehicle communication systems to alert drivers of possible dangers. For example, when approaching an intersection with poor visibility, the system could warn a driver that a pedestrian has just entered a cross walk in their blind spot.
Toyota is ultimately working toward completely eliminating traffic fatalities and injuries, with the ITS Proving Ground just the first step toward that goal. Toyota hasn't revealed when some of the technology from its safety systems might make their way into a production vehicle, but most experts agree wireless communication systems are about a decade out from being production viable.