The Toyota Technical Center (TTC) in Ann Arbor is participating in a large-scale validation test of a safety system that uses wireless communication in its home town. These new cooperative systems use 5.9GHz Dedicated Short Range Communication (DSRC) wireless communication to obtain data from other vehicles to determine potential risks. This test is meant to confirm that a deployed system is functional, reliable, and beneficial. The information collected during this test will be used as the basis for a decision in 2013 by the United States Department of Transportation (USDOT).

Over 2,800 [privately owned and automaker provided] vehicles will be used for this large-scale test as part of USDOT’s Safety Pilot being conducted by the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI).

TTC instrumented eight Toyota Venza vehicles with 5.9GHz DSRC communication devices and installed a modified multi-information display. When these modified vehicles encounter a potentially unsafe situation, advisory information is displayed on the multi-information screen or side-view mirror. Encouraging the driver can take appropriate action and help reduce the risk of a collision. If the driver does not take appropriate action, auditory and visual warnings are deployed.

USDOT CAMP Venzas

Cooperative safety applications such as Intersection Movement Assist, Emergency Electronic Brake Lights, and Lane Change Warning are installed in these test vehicles to collect naturalistic system performance information on public roads. The USDOT Safety Pilot will commence in August 2012 and conclude in the summer of 2013.

TTC also participated in a large-scale public study in 2011. In total, 688 drivers participated in the [USDOT’s] Driver Acceptance Clinic (DAC) and provided their opinions of the usefulness and effectiveness of the advisories and warnings provided by the cooperative safety systems. These clinics were held in six locations in the U.S. (Michigan, Minnesota, Virginia, Florida, Texas and California).

Drivers were very positive about these cooperative safety systems. In fact, preliminary results have shown that 74% of those drivers agreed "I would like to have this vehicle-to-vehicle safety feature on my personal vehicle."

TTC has been participating in government-industry collaboration projects for more than six years and we are in the final stages of this collaborative validation work.

When you come to Ann Arbor, please pay attention to the cars around you. You may find one or more test vehicles equipped with 5.9GHz DSRC wireless communication and witness Toyota's contributions to this national project.