New Toyota Tech Can Change Posted Speed Limits for Highways

By | June 23, 2014
We've heard almost everything about the future of automated driving, from cars that park themselves to cars without steering wheels. Now Toyota is adding to the long list with a new technology that can change posted speed limits on highways depending on the flow of traffic. Toyota engineer Hideki Hada received a patent for the technology, which allows cars to communicate with the highway infrastructure. Cars transmit data about their speed using Dedicated Short Range Communication, and the infrastructure uses this data to calculate an optimal traveling speed for all cars on the road. Once the infrastructure determines the right speed, this information is sent back to the cars. According to Toyota, the new technology can reduce congestion in certain situations. If there is congestion coming up on the road, slowing the vehicle speed can delay the time that a car is stuck in heavy traffic. This in turn helps prevent congestion from worsening, and can allow the traffic to resolve itself more effectively. The system also improves safety, warning drivers to slow down for traffic ahead.
For a few years, the U.S. government and a variety of automakers have been working on vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure communications. In the future, cars may be able to send data to traffic signals and roads to improve safety and traffic. A pilot program recently tested more than 3,000 "talking cars" and 73 miles of connected roads in Ann Arbor, Mich. to test these technologies. Hopefully, the latest step from Toyota will advance efforts in rolling out connected car technology to customers. Source: Toyota