Japanese carmaker Nissan has said it will mobilize 10,000 drivers in a 30-month experiment to develop an "intelligent transportation system" that sends wireless messages to passing cars.
"Car approaching from left" and "School ahead. Watch your speed," are two voice messages which drivers will receive through the system which uses information obtained from nearby vehicles and roadside optical beacons.
The information is received by an onboard antenna on the vehicle to alert drivers to potential danger from approaching vehicles or inform them of traffic congestion ahead, Nissan Motor Co. Ltd. said in a statement.
The test will start on October 1 on public roads in Kanagawa, a prefecture just south of Tokyo, with the number-two Japanese carmaker hoping to commercialize the system in 2010.
"We want to make it a success in Kanagawa prefecture and spread the technology nationwide and around the world," Nissan senior vice president Minoru Shinohara told a news conference.
The experiment will involve Nissan cars equipped with the company’s own car navigation system.
The system is seen feasible in Japan where more than 50 percent of cars are equipped with such navigational gadgets linked to the via-satellite Global Positioning System, compared with fewer than 10 percent in the United States and European countries.
The system will be developed in cooperation with NTT DoCoMo, consumer electronics maker Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., the National Police Agency and other concerns, the statement said.
The experiment will test several functions including the "vehicle alert" which tells drivers that other vehicles are moving too fast at blind intersections.
"Speed alert" warns drivers when they are speeding in a school zone. An image of a school zone sign appears on the drivers navigation screen along with a voice warning.
The system also includes "dynamic route finder" which informs drivers of the quickest route to their destination using probe data collected from mobile phones operated by NTT DoCoMo.