Special Coverage

Management Briefing Seminars

TRAVERSE CITY, MI – Toyota Motor Corp. has joined several U.S. research projects to bring inter-OEM vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communications to fruition, but it isn’t putting off technology that it can do alone.

“We’re not going to get to 100% of the benefits (of V2V) overnight,” Chuck Goulash, vice president-research and materials engineering, Toyota Motor Engineering and Mfg. North America Inc., says here at the Management Briefing Seminars. “So we have to build on technologies we have today.”

Toyota has developed a pre-crash safety system that monitors the orientation of the driver’s face, (available on the Lexus LS 600h hybrid-electric vehicle) so the vehicle can warn him of a problem ahead he cannot see.

And like other auto makers, Toyota is studying 360-degree sensing, which allows the vehicle to know what is happening around it.

Toyota’s vision of making future cars in which people can live in ease, safety and comfort includes eliminating congestion, pollution and accidents, says Goulash, and “vehicle-to-vehicle communication has the potential to meet much of this goal.”

As with its competitors, “our initial focus is on the safety part of it,” he says.

Vehicle-to-vehicle technology, including satellite-based global-positioning navigation systems, allows vehicles to share information, such as inclement weather conditions, airbag deployments and major traffic jams.

Toyota is working with four other auto makers on a system that warns drivers of an approaching red light and an emergency brake light that could help prevent rear-end collisions.

“A lot of development and study are necessary to answer questions, like prioritizing emergency warning messages,” Goulash says.