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Intelligent Transport Systems offer safety for smart drivers

Toyota's safety technology is based on Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS), a safety system that uses GPS sensors and receivers to avoid collisions.

About two months ago, my vehicle broke down and I had to buy a new one. I never was much of a car person, but something about buying a new vehicle makes you automatically feel like a car connoisseur. However, when your vehicle is kaput, you don't have a lot of time to shop around. If I would have had more time, I might have looked into (and held out for) Toyota's upcoming vehicles with new ITS-based safety features.

According to Reuters:

In a demonstration of its latest safety technologies at its Higashifuji Technical Center near Mt. Fuji, south of Tokyo, the world's biggest automaker invited journalists to its new facility that creates a virtual environment to analyze driving characteristics under various conditions such as drunkenness and drowsiness.

Toyota also demonstrated safety technology based on Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS), a safety system using global positioning system receivers and sensors to allow communication between cars and road infrastructure, pedestrians or other cars in an effort to avoid collisions.

Once the infrastructure is in place, new ITS-based safety features would be able to warn drivers when they are about to run a red light or stop sign, even braking automatically, or alert them of approaching pedestrians or cars in blind spots.

That is really what I needed about a month ago when I side-swiped another car that was in my blind spot when I looked before quickly merging into the next lane. Yes, in my new car. No, I wasn't sending or reading text messages, talking on the phone, or watching a movie on an in-dash DVD player. It was an accident (the first in over 12 years) that could have been avoided if I would have looked over my shoulder more than once before merging - OR - if I would have had a car that told me that someone was in my blind spot. I think Toyota is one to something here.

Does this ITS technology appeal to you? Would you pay extra to have it in your vehicle?

About

Sonja Thompson has worked for TechRepublic since October of 1999. She is currently a Senior Editor and the host of the Smartphones and Tablets blogs.

5 comments
JCitizen
JCitizen

Pretty soon the cars will drive you to work automatically. It will be the only way inner cities will be able to handle the traffic load.

Sonja Thompson
Sonja Thompson

Does Toyota's Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) appeal to you? Would you pay extra to have it in your vehicle?

poncev
poncev

Society is becoming far too dependent on technology. Of course it's inevitable. It won't matter how much more expensive these cars will be. The wealthy will buy them. Then as time goes on and the prices go down, everyone else will. Probably won't happen for another decade or so, though.

boxfiddler
boxfiddler

note the date of the original post. :0

Penguin_me
Penguin_me

I have a couple of issues with this, first, if this were to be implemented in all new cars, what about the masses of older cars (my own car is 20 this year so no safety features) on the roads which wont have the system, unless people were to buy the (probably quite expensive) system and have it fitted. Secondly, if this were to be implemented on a mass scale, would it just produce complacent driving, where people no longer check mirrors etc. when driving because the ITS tells them if there's a car there ?