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Toyota, Lexus to launch V2V, V2I tech by 2021

Following years of hype, the technology has struggled to grow beyond green-light alerts in a few cities.

Toyota has announced plans to bring vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure technologies (V2X) to the US market by 2021.

The company intends to integrate V2X features across most of its lineup by the mid-2020s, including mainstream Toyota-badged vehicles and luxury Lexus offerings.

"By allowing vehicles' intelligent systems to collaborate more broadly and effectively through DSRC technology, we can help drivers realize a future with zero fatalities from crashes, better traffic flow and less congestion," says Toyota Motor North America CEO Jim Lentz.

Automakers have been working on V2V and V2I technology for many years. Also known as dedicated short-range communications (DSCR), the communication standards can allow cars to communicate with other vehicles and nearby infrastructure.

Proponents have viewed V2V as a seemingly practical technology to prevent collisions between vehicles. Two vehicles on a collision trajectory can theoretically detect the conflict if both are broadcasting their position, speed and heading.

So far, real-world examples are mostly limited to green-light alerts at certain intersections in a few cities. As the industry shifts its focus toward autonomous systems, V2X appears to have been put on the back burner despite lingering enthusiasm from Toyota and a few other automakers.