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Nissan to test Intelligent Transport System in Japan using cell phones


April 17, 2007

April 18, 2007 We’ve written before about Intelligent Transportation Systems in general and in particular, Nissan’s ongoing development and trials of Intelligent Transportation Systems in Japan, but a new development is the use of cell phone technology to help reduce accidents involving pedestrians. Nissan is researching the pedestrian-related communication involving the transmitting of pedestrian position data to vehicles via the Global Positioning System (GPS). Nissan's advanced ITS employs the next 3G cellular communications system, just launched in Japan, where the GPS function is used as the basis to provide location information of the cellular phone. In this system, location data transmitted from the pedestrian's cellular phone and vehicle is fed to the ITS to allow the system to determine the corresponding positions between the pedestrian and the vehicle. A pedestrian alert will appear onboard the vehicle to warn the driver, helping to reduce road accidents particularly in a blind-spot situation.

This advanced ITS research consists of the following process:

1) Via cellular packet communications, the system wirelessly collects probe data from the vehicle (such as position and speed) and position data from pedestrians. The received data is then computed to determine the corresponding location of the vehicle relative to the pedestrians on the road. Cellular packet communications is a method of data transfer where the data to be sent and received are divided into packets of a specific size, allowing a singular line to be shared among many users and increasing efficiency in telecommunications.

2) The ITS detects pedestrians ahead of the vehicle, and send a warning alert to the driver at the event of a potential conflict.

Nissan is studying what types of pedestrian data are most relevant to help prevent accidents. The research will investigate a variety of factors influencing the pedestrian-vehicle's relative positions, such as the directions in which pedestrians and the vehicle are moving, and the corresponding speeds and distances between them. Various driver alerts, such as visual warnings or audible alarms, are also under study.

Nissan is studying and developing the ITS with technical collaboration from NTT DoCoMo Inc. on cellular communications technology.

This current research aims to join and contribute to the ITS project, which is a Nissan experimental program conducted in Kanagawa Prefecture that begun in October 2006. The program is aimed at efforts to help reduce traffic accidents and congestion utilizing real-time driving-data collected from the vehicles.

The ITS project allows Nissan to test various technology concepts and develop the most suitable technology solution for wide-scale application.

The next 3G cellular communications system uses digital cellular phones that meet the International Telecommunication Union's MT-2000 specification, allowing high-speed data transfers and delivery of high-volume multi-media information, including sound, images and video. The world's first 3G service, employing the W-CDMA system, was FOMA by NTT DoCoMo, which became available in October 2001. FOMA is a registered trademark of NTT DoCoMo Inc.

About the Author
Mike Hanlon Mike grew up thinking he would become a mathematician, accidentally started motorcycle racing, got a job writing road tests for a motorcycle magazine while at university, and became a writer. As a travelling photojournalist during his early career, his work was published in a dozen languages across 20+ countries. He went on to edit or manage over 50 print publications, with target audiences ranging from pensioners to plumbers, many different sports, many car and motorcycle magazines, with many more in the fields of communication - narrow subject magazines on topics such as advertising, marketing, visual communications, design, presentation and direct marketing. Then came the internet and Mike managed internet projects for Australia's largest multimedia company, (Australia's largest Telco), (Australia's largest employment site),,, and a dozen other internet start-ups before founding Gizmag in 2002. Now he writes and thinks. All articles by Mike Hanlon
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