By on April 17, 2018

vision 2.0 NHTSA Autonomous vehicles

Toyota wants to be a leader in the connected vehicle field and is encouraging all automakers to utilize dedicated short-range communications (DSRC) on all of vehicles sold in the United States — especially after it has already decided to do so with its own fleet. The brand has said it will be building talking cars by 2021. But they won’t talk in the same sense as a 1987 Chrysler New Yorker constantly reminding you that the door is ajar in a Speak & Spell voice, nor will they communicate with you like modern-day vehicles equipped with Amazon’s spyware intelligent personal-assistant service.

Instead, they’ll be talking to each other via a dedicated channel for vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communications. Toyota and Lexus intend to start equipping models with the technology in 2020, hoping to have it on most models by the following year. But it wasn’t the first to pitch the idea. The Federal Communications Commission allocated specific bandwidths for car chatter in 2017 and Cadillac has been talking about V2V for years. 

Many have suggested complete driving autonomy wouldn’t be possible without vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure communications (V2I). Toyota didn’t go that far but noted that a dedicated network for both would represent a significant step forward in creating a safer and more efficient driving ecosystem while advancing connected and automated technology deployment.

“By allowing vehicles’ intelligent systems to collaborate more broadly and effectively through DSRC technology, we can help drivers realize a future with zero fatalities from crashes, better traffic flow and less congestion,” said Jim Lentz, CEO of Toyota Motor North America.

“Three years ago, we pledged to have automatic emergency braking (AEB) in almost every vehicle we sell by the end of 2017. Today, 92 percent of all Toyota and Lexus vehicles sold in the U.S. have Toyota Safety Sense or Lexus Safety System + with AEB standard, and other automakers’ deployment of this life-saving technology is accelerating, three years ahead of the 2022 industry target. In that same spirit, we believe that greater DSRC adoption by all automakers will not only help drivers get to their destinations more safely and efficiently, but also help lay the foundation for future connected and automated driving systems.”

There’s no reason not to buy into that hype. However, the downside of DSRC is that networking all cars would make them prone to cyber attacks. It would also make them incredibly easy to keep track of. How fast you are going, where you drive, and everything else that happens behind the wheel would be up for grabs. That data could theoretically be sold by automakers when it isn’t being used to improve traffic flow. Depending on how skeptical you are about a utopian driving experience, DSRC could be a blessing or a curse.

DSRC communicates using seven channels of the 5.9 GHz spectrum band that is specifically reserved for “Intelligent Transportation Systems.” As a dedicated carrier, it requires no cellular subscription and is intended specifically to help vehicles navigate cooperatively.

Volkswagen, Jaguar Land Rover, and Ford launched pilot programs to test their versions of the tech last year. However V2V would be at its most useful when all makes can talk to each other, which is what DSRC is aiming for and most automakers appear to be moving toward.

[Image: NHTSA]

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13 Comments on “Toyota Confirms ‘Talking’ Cars for 2021...”

  • avatar

    “Chatty Camry”?


  • avatar

    The worlds most complicated Follow the Leader exercise still won’t protect pedestrians. I can’t wait until the first school of fish drives off a cliff.

    This is a classic stopgap. We should be focusing on fixing the digital eye instead of creating a blind network…

    The information on this technology is lacking detail and doesn’t provide any novel or groundbreaking content. If you look at scope of the project below its clear that this is only attacking the most fundamental of tasks.

    Eco-Approach and Departure at Signalized Intersections
    Eco-Freight Signal Priority
    Eco-Traffic Signal Priority
    Eco-Traffic Signal Timing
    Connection Protection
    Dynamic Ridesharing
    Integrated Corridor Management
    Queue Warning and Speed Harmonization
    Response, Emergency Staging and Communications, Uniform Management and Evacuation (R.E.S.C.U.M.E.)
    Road Weather Connected Vehicle Applications
    Information and Routing Support for Emergency Responders
    Enhanced Maintenance Decison Support System (MDSS)
    Information for Freight Carriers
    Information for Maintenance and Fleet Management Systems
    Motorist Advisories and Warnings
    Weather-Responsive Traffic Management
    Do Not Pass Warning
    Emergency Electric Brake Light Warning
    Intersection Movement Assist
    Lane Change Warning/Blind Spot Warning
    Forward Collision Warning
    Truck Forward Collision Warning
    Left Turn Across Path
    Vehicle Turning Right in Front of Bus
    Red Light Violation Warning
    Stop Sign Gap Assistance
    Work Zone Warning
    Curve Speed Warning
    Pedestrian in Signalized Crosswalk
    Connected Vehicle for Safety Rail
    Transit Bus Stop Pedestrian Warning

  • avatar

    “The door is a jar.”

    Actually, the feature I’d like would be, “You’re in the left lane. Hurry up or $#*&% move over!”

  • avatar

    A Camry and Corolla pull up next to at a stoplight.

    You look mahvelous.

    No, YOU look mahvelous.

    (Mustang 5.0 pulls up, hears this, and rolls its’ eyes…)

  • avatar

    “Three years ago, we pledged to have automatic emergency braking ….deployment of this life-saving technology is accelerating”

    Hurry up and stop

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