TOKYO — Japan’s automotive industry and telecommunications ministry are promoting the use of wireless car-to-car communication, and working on guidelines for it and related technologies by May.
The hope is that allowing cars to talk to each other will reduce traffic accidents and congestion, and quickly alert drivers to the presence of emergency vehicles. Once the guidelines are developed, the next step will be to develop prototypes and begin demonstration projects. The target date for this phase of development is 2015. Automakers aim to establish common standards and put the technology to use by 2017.
Car-to-car communication automatically transmits information on the location, direction and speed of vehicles through devices mounted in each car. Such systems are not available commercially anywhere in the world at present, although collision-avoidance and data communications systems that provide traffic information are already on the road.
Vehicle-to-vehicle communication is believed to be essential for the widespread use of self-driving vehicles; the wireless technology will enable such cars to detect braking by vehicles in front.
The telecommunications ministry has allocated the 700 megahertz frequency band for intervehicle communication and plans to draw up guidelines on the basic specifications for in-vehicle communication devices.
Auto parts makers, including Panasonic and Denso, are expected to make prototypes soon and begin joint demonstration projects with Toyota Motor, Mazda Motor and other carmakers.