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– Cooperative Efforts to Help Prevent Traffic Accidents Using IT

West Nippon Expressway Co., Ltd. (West NEXCO) and Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. today announced that they have jointly developed a Wrong-Way Alert Program using Global Positioning System (GPS) data as a result of cooperative research on information systems using information technology (IT), conducted since January 2009. The system provides information about road and traffic conditions in order to enhance and complement existing information systems and help improve safety and driving comfort on expressways.

This is the world’s first* program which gives the driver audio and visual warnings when the system determines the vehicle is going the wrong way on an expressway. Incidents of driving in the wrong direction occur frequently in Japan, and is seen as a critical social issue in recent years.

This new program will be adopted with the genuine Nissan navigation system in the new Fuga Hybrid to be announced on October 26, 2010. Other models will follow subsequently.

In developing the program, tests were conducted with actual vehicles on expressways across the country with the cooperation of East NEXCO and Central NEXCO. The outline of the Wrong-Way Alert Program is as follows.
(* World’s first: As of October, 2010. According to Nissan.)

■ Outline of the Wrong-Way Alert Program

  • Using a newly-developed computer program, the navigation system determines if the vehicle is driving against the normal flow of traffic, based on vehicle information (including GPS location, map data and the vehicle speed) and reports it to the driver. Specifically, the program identifies an area for determining the normal direction of traffic flow, such as around roadway junctions. When the vehicle passes through the area for the first time, the program records the direction of travel. After that, if the vehicle enters the area again and the program determines that it is driving in the opposite direction, the navigation system provides a audible and visual warnings to the driver. If the vehicle goes the wrong way at junctions near a service area or interchange, the navigation system also gives the driver audio and visual warnings. Combining the knowledge and expertise expressway companies have regarding road structure and those of automakers on a GPS navigation system, a new logic for determining wrong-way driving was developed and it was realized as feasible technology for commercially-available car navigation system.
  • To use this feature requires adding this computer program to the navigation system, but no change to the existing map database is needed. Therefore, the program continues to work even if the map data is updated with new road information.

Other Joint R&D Between Nissan and NEXCO West
<Joint R&D Using Telematics> (Already in practical use)

Nissan CARWINGS navigation system gives warnings, “Beware of speeding” on long downhill stretches, and “Beware of slowing” near ramps prone to congestion in 29 spots within the jurisdiction of West NEXCO.

Nissan CARWINGS navigation system also provides simplified map graphics, text and voice information, “iHighway”, for an expressway traffic information mobile website, operated by West Nippon Expressway Service Holdings Company Limited., which provides expressway traffic information across the country 24 hours a day.

Quelle: Nissan

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