Mazda develops system to halt car-streetcar collisions

Kyodo

Mazda Motor Corp. and its research partners have jointly developed a sensor-based “intelligent transport system” to enable cars to avoid collisions with streetcars even in poor visibility.

The carmaker will start trials on public roads of the system, which employs sensors and wireless data communication between cars and streetcars in Hiroshima later this month, they said Tuesday.

The University of Tokyo, which helped develop the system, said it is the world’s first trilateral fusion of a car-mounted danger detection system, a wireless communication system and a streetcar-mounted wireless signal emitter.

The system’s car-mounted sensors can detect signals from a streetcar up to 100 meters away, in contrast with the current range of just a few dozen meters for conventional sensors on cars. The new system is designed to prevent collisions between vehicles and oncoming streetcars by allowing their positions and directions to be automatically monitored, according to the university.

The experimental ASV-5 version of Mazda’s Atenza sedan will be deployed for the trials in Hiroshima. Streetcars, which are used by around 150,000 people per day in Hiroshima, form an essential part of the city’s public transportation system.

Mazda and its partners said they will brief engineers and researchers from other countries on the new safety technology during an international conference in Tokyo slated from Oct. 14 to 18.