The number of car accidents in Chicago and other parts of Illinois could decrease significantly if new technology that is being developed by Toyota Motor Corp. is proven to be effective.
Currently, the company is testing a number of safety systems that alert drivers to other vehicles, pedestrians, red lights and more. Testing is taking place in central Japan at a site called the Intelligent Transport System site, which is as large as three baseball stadiums and contains a series of roads, intersections and other motorway features.
In order to increase road safety, transmitters and sensors are placed on the roadway and inside the cars that alert the driver of various hazards in different ways. For example, the car produces beeping noises, pictures of dangers or alert signs on a screen in front of the driver and can even recite a sentence. The car will also assist with braking if needed in order to avoid a collision with another vehicle or a pedestrian.
The advanced safety tactics stem from roadway statistics that say half of car accidents occur at intersections, while rear-end collisions and head-on collisions follow.
Testing will not begin on real roads until 2014, and will follow in the United States some time after that. The technology will first be offered in Lexus models, according to the company. While it could be an expensive feature, it could also save many lives.
Safety technology has been added to many cars throughout the past decade, and more is sure to come. It not only keeps motorists safe, but adds value to the vehicles. Already, cars can alert drivers to blind-spot vehicles, have back-up cameras, parking assistance and automatic braking. As the years go by, popularity for safety technology has grown and auto makers have responded.
Source: Chicago Sun-Times, “Toyota tests cars that communicate with each other,” Nov. 12, 2012
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