Technology in cars is becoming more sophisticated with each new model year. While features in 2012 and 2013 models include backup cameras and lane integrity warning systems, new safety systems are being tested that will allow vehicles to communicate with each other while on the road.
According to a Chicago Sun-Times report, researchers at Toyota Motor Corporation are testing systems that will ostensibly minimize the risk of accidents in common situations where driver error can be catastrophic; such as not seeing a pedestrian, missing a red light or not seeing oncoming cars when making a turn.
Reporters at the Higashi-Fuji Technical center saw how the system would work in a Lexus LS. As a pedestrian crossed in front the car, a beeping sound alerted the driver and a picture of a person was displayed on a small cockpit monitor. Officials at Toyota explain that a majority of accidents occur at intersections, so new safety offerings geared at improving safety in these situations are ideal.
At the same time, rival automaker Nissan is developing a similar early collision warning system that includes small, built-in cameras and radar that will monitor areas in front of the car, as well as behind it, for hazards. The system will reportedly be connected to the braking system so that the car may be stopped if the driver does not react to danger.
While no timetable is set for when the technology will be available on new models sold in the U.S., it will likely be offered on Lexus models before seen on Toyotas.
Source: Chicago Sun-Times.com, Toyota test cars that communicate with each other, November 12, 2012