Boston Traffic Watch: A Look at Toyota's Driverless Cars

November 17, 2012

Our Quincy car accident lawyers have blogged about the advancements in connected cars in recent posts.

Now, Toyota Motor Corp. is getting in on the action. These connected cars allow vehicles to talk to one another and to talk to the roadways to help to avoid car accidents. According to the Boston Globe, Toyota just completed its creation of a facility that's the size of three baseball stadiums in central Japan to test out their technology. Toyota calls it the Transport System site. Transmitters and sensors on participating cars are working to find the hazards and dangers on the roads before you do. They're going to help to react to them before you do as well!
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When the technology senses a danger, the vehicle sends off a beeping sound and displays a picture in front of the driver. Some of the warnings are even automated.

Our Boston car accident attorneys understand that this kind of technology might not be far from becoming a reality. We've still all got to rely on driver awareness though. There's nothing in our vehicles warning us of dangers except our own two eyes. Drivers need to be on the ball and alert behind the wheel to help to do their part in preventing car accidents out there!

"Technology is available so that connected cars could be on the road nationwide in under 10 years," said Peter Sweatman with the University of Michigan's Transportation Research Institute

According to officials with Toyota, the vehicles are expected to be out of test mode and on Japanese roads by 2014. The U.S. is also onboard with these kinds of technologies, with pilot projects going down in Ann Arbor, Michigan already.

This kind of technology is expected to be especially effective near intersections. In these areas, drivers have to worry about paying attention to road signs and traffic lights, all while looking out for red-light runners, pedestrians, bicyclists and other hazards. Officials are estimating that this technology will be able to help cut the number of intersection car accidents across the nation in half.

Moritaka Yoshida, Managing Officer with Toyota, also believes that this kind of technology is going to help our elderly drivers. It's going to pick up the hazards that elderly drivers are likely to miss.

The truth of the matter is that most automakers are working on this kind of technology. They see it as not only a way to help to reduce the risks of accidents, but as also a way to help to add value to their vehicles.

Toyota has come catching up to do though and automakers are working diligently to do so. Nissan Motor Co. has already unveiled vehicles that can park on their own, swerve away from pedestrians and can make complete stops on their own.

Regardless, Toyota says their technology will be released "soon." No official date has been given.

If you or someone you love has been injured or killed in an auto accident, contact Jeffrey S. Glassman for a free and confidential consultation to discuss your case. Call 1-877-617-5333 today!

Additional Resources:

Toyota tests cars that communicate with each other, by Yuri Kageyama, Boston Globe

More Blog Entries:

WAKE UP New England: National Drowsy Driving Prevention Week 2012, Boston Car Accident Lawyer Blog, November 8, 2012

Daylight Saving Time & Car Accident Risks in Massachusetts, Boston Car Accident Lawyer Blog, November 4, 2012