Toyota Confirms 'Talking' Cars for 2021

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
toyota confirms talking cars for 2021

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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  • FreedMike FreedMike on Apr 17, 2018

    A Camry and Corolla pull up next to at a stoplight. Camry: You look mahvelous. Corolla: No, YOU look mahvelous. (Mustang 5.0 pulls up, hears this, and rolls its' eyes...)

    • JimC2 JimC2 on Apr 17, 2018

      Pardon me, sir, but do you have any Grey Poupon?

  • Pbx Pbx on Apr 17, 2018

    “Three years ago, we pledged to have automatic emergency braking ....deployment of this life-saving technology is accelerating" Hurry up and stop

  • Tassos I also want one of the idiots who support the ban to explain to me how it will work.Suppose sometime (2035 or later) you cannot buy a new ICE vehicle in the UK.Q1: Will this lead to a ICE fleet resembling that of CUBA, with 100 year old vehicles evetually? (in that case, just calculate the horrible extra pollution due to keeping 100 year old cars on the road)Q2: Will people be able to buy PARTS for their old cars FOREVER?Q3: Will people be allowed to jump across the Channel and buy a nice ICE in France, Germany (who makes the best cars anyway), or any place else that still sells them, and then use it in the UK?
  • Tassos Bans are ridiculous and undemocratic and smell of Middle Ages and the Inquisition. Even 2035 is hardly any better than 2030.The ALMIGHTY CONSUMER should decide, not... CARB, preferably WITHOUT the Government messing with the playing field.And if the usual clueless idiots read this and offer the tired "But Government subsidizes the oil industry too", will they EVER learn that those MINISCULE (compared to the TRILLIONS of $ size of this industry) subsidies were designed to help the SMALL Oil producers defend themselves against the "Big Oil" multinationals. Ask ANY major Oil co CEO and he will gladly tell you that you can take those tiny subsidies and shove them.
  • Dusterdude The suppliers can ask for concessions, but I wouldn’t hold my breath . With the UAW they are ultimately bound to negotiate with them. However, with suppliers , they could always find another supplier ( which in some cases would be difficult, but not impossible)
  • AMcA Phoenix. Awful. The roads are huge and wide, with dedicated lanes for turning, always. Requires no attention to what you're doing. The roads are idiot proofed, so all the idiots drive - they have no choice, because everything is so spread out.
  • Leonard Ostrander Pet peeve: Drivers who swerve to the left to make a right turn and vice versa. They take up as much space as possible for as long as possible as though they're driving trailer trucks or school busses. It's a Kia people, not a Kenworth! Oh, and use your turn signals if you ever figure out where you're going.