• Kyodo


If you feel frustrated with trucks and other large vehicles blocking your sight while driving, help may be at hand with the latest technology.

With futuristic transportation systems, you can hear a “vehicle approaching” warning message emanate from an in-car device and see images of an approaching car, which pop up on a display screen instantly, when you are near intersections or corners.

These images are sent automatically from an antenna set up on the corner or from a car traveling in front of the driver.

“By seeing images of the road ahead, you can also avoid traffic jams,” said an official representing Denso Corp. and Aisin Seiki Co., the developers of the system.

It is among a number of the cutting-edge technologies to be demonstrated at the 11th World Congress on Intelligent Transport Systems to be held from Monday to Oct. 24 at the Nagoya International Exhibition Hall.

Under the theme “ITS for Livable Society,” about 250 companies, universities and government entities, including 90 from overseas, will take part in the event to discuss and demonstrate communications technology designed to improve vehicle safety, users’ convenience, transport efficiency and environmental performance.

Organizers hope the congress will draw 50,000 people, 10 times the average number at previous sessions. Unlike past gatherings that only targeted experts, this event will be open to the general public and will feature inspection tours and easy-to-understand exhibitions.

Leading automakers Toyota Motor Corp. and Honda Motor Co. will unveil what they claim are the world’s first technologies to prevent traffic accidents.

Under a system developed by Toyota, the driver will be alerted when a laser beam emitted from the car detects pedestrians and traffic obstructions. The mechanism will help reduce collisions at blind corners, according to Toyota.

A Honda system provides the driver with visual and audio warnings at night, using infrared cameras to detect pedestrians in or approaching the vehicle’s path, Honda officials said.

Systems developed by companies such as Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. and KDDI Corp. can transfer data from personal computers or mobile phones to car-navigation systems, giving drivers and passengers access to a variety of information in the car.

Under a system developed by Mobilecast Inc., messages from shops, such as one saying they are holding bargain sales, pop up on the vehicle’s in-car display if it travels in a zone where a wireless LAN has been set up.

A consortium consisting of 100 companies and eight universities in Japan aims to start practical applications of some of the Internet-based technologies in fiscal 2006.

Officials of the body comprising such firms as Toyota, Matsushita, KDDI and academic institutions such as Nagoya University and Keio University, say most of the technologies have almost reached the level of practical use, but some difficulties remain.

“Currently, ITS devices and systems are developed separately by each company and communications costs are still high. We need to unify standards and establish low-cost networks of wireless LANs and other infrastructure,” a consortium official said.

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