Nissan takes intelligent transport system to the streets

Nissan Motor Co. is to run a large-scale test of an intelligent transport system (ITS) that integrates cellular communications with vehicle telematics to help prevent pedestrian-related accidents.

The pilot project will be conducted in Atsugi, Japan, for a two-month period from November 1 to December 27, in collaboration with NTT DoCoMo, the country's largest mobile network operator.

Nissan says it will be the first experiment on this scale, involving 500 pedestrians and 200 drivers. Participants will use a special cellphone that is compatible with the Nissan navigation system in the test vehicles, and will simply go about their regular daily routines, commuting within the neighbourhood.

Nissan first began the basic test of the system in April 2007. By conducting a large-scaled community-based trial with real-world data-tracking, the company is moving beyond the initial basic testing towards a commercially-viable system.

The way the system works is that when a vehicle is approaching a residential city area where many blind intersections exist, the driver can be alerted of a pedestrian hidden around the corner, by voice message and screen display via the navigation system. This is possible as the information server detects GPS data transmitted from the pedestrian's cellphone and sends it to the vehicle navigation system, which then triggers the alert. The system assists the driver to take precautionary measures and drive more carefully, which can help to reduce pedestrian-vehicle collisions.

The pilot aims to achieve two objectives: to verify the effectiveness of the system in changing driver behaviour and to optimise the data-processing logic.

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