Vehicles have enriched people lives, added convenience, and have become an essential part of modern life and today's economic activities. However, vehicles have also led to increases in traffic accidents, congestion and environmental problems caused by exhaust emissions.
In order to solve these problems, international organizations and governmental authorities have implemented policies and measures, while auto manufacturers have been putting considerable effort into improving their vehicles. In addition, working together with governmental agencies and academia, the automotive industry has advanced Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS*), applying remarkable innovations in electronics, and information and communication technologies to vehicles.
Recently, ITS has gained recognition as being more than just a method to solve transportation problems. ITS also has been drawing attention as an influential means to realize a transportation sysytem that offers safety, peace of mind and comfort by increasing the convenice of vehicles and the mobility society as a whole, while serving as an influential means to contribute to the realization of an enriched low carbon society, which is a key global environmental issue.
When the private-sector organization VERTIS (Vehicle, Road and Traffic Intelligence Society, presently ITS Japan) was established in 1994 in Japan to promote the commercialization of ITS, the blueprint presented by ITS was still conceptual. Today, ITS has advanced to a stage where various systems such as navigation systems and ETC have already been commercialized.
Moreover, within the Japanese government's New IT Reform Strategy, which aims to realize a ubiquitous and universal network society where everyone can enjoy the benefits of IT in FY2010, ITS is positioned as a focal area for the future. Various efforts have been implemented by performing large-scale verification tests on public roads.
Toyota is aiming to lead in the development of a truly enriched mobility society in the 21st century. Therefore, we have been actively supporting the commercialization of ITS in order to bring technological harmony and balance to our mobility society and to ensure that it can grow in a sustainable manner. In the future, Toyota plans to further develop the products and systems we have put into practical use thus far, and to systematically combine vehicles with social infrastructures in a ubiquitous-network society, as we continue to strive to build the new ITS-driven mobility society of the 21st century.
*ITS (Intelligent Transport Systems): Advanced transport systems that are constructed to integrate people, vehicles, and the traffic environment, using state-of-the-art information and communication technologies to build a safe, comfortable and smooth transport infrastructure.