November 25th, 2012 - by DKRPA
For a time, the prevailing wisdom on road safety simply consisted of instructing consumers to buy the safest car possible and to remember to buckle up. Then it became apparent that prevention of car accidents is just as critical to overall safety as vehicles that can withstand unpreventable crashes. As a result, safety wisdom then turned to instructions that motorists should not drink and drive, drive distracted, drive while fatigued and drive while enraged.
However, the tide of road safety wisdom is turning again. Rather than simply building safe cars and hoping that drivers handle them responsibly, Toyota and other auto manufacturers are taking human responsibility increasingly out of the safety equation. In its latest effort to advance intelligent safety design, Toyota has begun testing cars which communicate with both the roads and with each other.
In enabling both vehicles and stationary road fixtures to communicate, Toyota is attempting to minimize the impact of careless drivers on other motorists. For example, if a fellow motorist runs a red light or is not slowing down for a pedestrian in a crosswalk, his vehicle will receive information from transmitters and sensors in the street which will signal him to pay attention immediately and perhaps set off emergency safety features in his vehicle. In addition, if your car is close to the careless driver, your vehicle will receive information about what is occurring and what action you need to take to remain safe.
The prevailing wisdom on how to keep motorists safe never stays the same for long. By introducing intelligent design into the mix along with safety features and education on safe driving for motorists, Toyota and fellow auto manufactures are expanding the public’s ability to drive safely.
Source: Chicago Sun-Times, “Toyota tests cars that communicate with each other,” Nov. 12, 2012