Toyota to launch ‘talking cars’ in the US by 2021
The new technology could prevent tens of thousands of accidents every year.
Toyota has announced plans to start selling vehicles that can “talk to each other” across the US by 2021.
The Japanese motor company hopes to launch the cars, which can communicate using short-range wireless technology, across most of its lineup by the mid-2020s.
Toyota, the third-bestselling automaker in America, will put the chips in Toyota and Lexus models in the US starting in 2021. The technology will enable cars to send data on their location and speed to surrounding vehicles and roadside infrastructure to curb crashes.
This advanced technology could potentially prevent thousands of road accidents each year, and Toyota, which has deployed the technology in Japan to more than 100,000 vehicles since 2015, hopes other automakers will follow its lead.
It would then be up to the US Department of Transportation to decide whether to adopt a pending proposal that would require all future vehicles to have this system installed.
In December 2016, the Obama administration proposed that all automakers install this technology to ensure all vehicles “speak the same language through a standard technology”.
Car companies have studied the technology for more than a decade, but it has gone largely unused.
Talking vehicles, which have been tested in pilot projects and by US carmakers for more than a decade, use dedicated short-range communications to transmit data to nearby vehicles that are up to nearly 1,000 feet away, including location, direction and speed.
The data is broadcast up to 10 times per second to nearby vehicles, which can identify risks and provide warnings to avoid imminent crashes.
Last year, the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) said the regulation could eventually cost between $135 and $300 per new vehicle, or up to $5 billion annually.
This could prevent up to 600,000 crashes and reduce costs by $71 billion annually when fully deployed, but the NHTSA added that it has “not made any final decision” on requiring the technology.
Among other technologies that are also pushing the envelope, insurance is coming to the nascent self-driving car space, and Hyundai recently joined the list of providers now offering usage-based insurance.
In the meantime, learn how you can squeeze the most value and savings out of the current car insurance marketplace by checking out the tips and tricks in our Car Insurance Finder guide.
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