The car manufacturers Toyota and Lexus have announced they are planning to start deployment of Dedicated Short-Range Communications (DSRC) systems on vehicles sold in the United States in 2021, with the goal of adoption across most of its lineup by the mid-2020s.
The companies say the plans represent a significant step forward in creating a “safer and more efficient driving ecosystem” while advancing connected and automated technology deployment.
“By allowing vehicles’ intelligent systems to collaborate more broadly and effectively through DSRC technology, we can help drivers realise a future with zero fatalities from crashes, better traffic flow and less congestion,” said Jim Lentz, CEO of Toyota Motor North America (TMNA).
“Three years ago, we pledged to have automatic emergency braking (AEB) in almost every vehicle we sell by the end of 2017. Today, 92 percent of all Toyota and Lexus vehicles sold in the U.S. have Toyota Safety Sense or Lexus Safety System + with AEB standard, and other automakers’ deployment of this life-saving technology is accelerating, three years ahead of the 2022 industry target. In that same spirit, we believe that greater DSRC adoption by all automakers will not only help drivers get to their destinations more safely and efficiently, but also help lay the foundation for future connected and automated driving systems.”
DSRC transmissions enable vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) and vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) communications – collectively known as V2X. DSRC technology, which the firms say has been comprehensively tested in the US through government-industry collaborations and is already deployed in some areas of the US, supports the broadcast of precise anonymised vehicle information several times per second, including location, speed and acceleration. This information can be used by other DSRC-enabled vehicles and devices to help drivers prevent collisions. Communication can also be enabled to provide helpful real-time information to drivers, such as potential hazards, slow or stopped vehicles ahead, or signals, signs, and road conditions that may be difficult to see.
DSRC communicates using 7 channels of the 5.9 GHz spectrum band allocated for Intelligent Transport Systems in the US. Because the technology does not require a cellular or data network, vehicles equipped with DSRC do not incur any cellular network carrier charges. DSRC is based on industry standards, so Toyota vehicles will be able to communicate with other automakers’ equipped vehicles, multiplying the safety benefits for all.
ITS America President & CEO Shailen Bhatt called the plan “a major milestone that will save lives and improve mobility”.
“Vehicle to Vehicle applications rely on DSRC – a wireless technology – to allow vehicles to exchange safety critical information,” he said. “DSRC also enables vehicles to communicate with road infrastructure such as traffic signals, and pedestrians, cyclists and others with wireless devices. DSRC technology has been tested and proven over the last several years and is already being used in many parts of the country. It will help us dramatically reduce traffic fatalities – more than 37,000 people died on U.S. roadways in 2016, and that loss of life is unacceptable. We applaud Toyota for its leadership in using technology to advance safety and save lives.”