Trial Run: Toyota Plans To Provide Lane-Specific Traffic Information

Courtesy: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
Courtesy: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images /

The Toyota Motor Corporation has verified that it is in the process of testing a lane-specific traffic-congestion information service.

Many, if not everyone, can relate to the frustrating everyday battle we call traffic. Ever have those days where it feels like every lane you switch to suddenly gets worse? It’s as if the lane you just left from always speeds up when you move over. Sadly, we really can’t do much about this mundane and stressful routine most of us have to endure on a daily basis. However, Toyota might have something up their sleeve that can alleviate these traffic headaches and help you find the best lane to drive in.

The Japanese automaker just announced that it is in pursuit of launching a trial test of a service that provides lane-specific traffic alerts to the TC Smartphone Navigation app. Toyota plans to use the information they gather to analyze traffic patterns by lane, not just by roadway or area.

According to Toyota’s official press release,

"“The information is to be generated by analyzing driving video and vehicle data collected from Toyota’s data-transmission TransLog driving recorder installed on 500 taxis operating in the Tokyo metropolitan area. This trial service is to start in the spring of 2018.“Toyota has been providing services such as airbag-deployment emergency notification, automatic navigational map-data updating and operator services using its data communications module (DCM) commercialized in 2002. Toyota started to make DCMs standard on Lexus-brand vehicles and optional on Toyota-brand vehicles in 2005. Using driving data collected from DCMs, Toyota also has been providing its “T-Probe” big-data traffic information service since 2011, which is currently available through original-equipment navigation systems and through Toyota’s TC Smartphone Navigation smartphone app.”"

It may start out as a lane-congestion alert system, but has potential to be so much more.

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Unfortunately, the service will only be available in the Tokyo metro area – at least for the beginning. Toyota does assure the public that if it works out well and enough drivers use it, the automaker will consider expanding the service to other markets or countries. Toyota says it may also provide the service on different apps for convenience. In addition, Toyota believes that with the real-time data it gathers from this program, it could also provide the app users of empty parking spots, accidents and road construction.

Toyota further explains its goals:

"“Aiming to create a prosperous society of mobility that offers security and convenience, Toyota, with the Japan Federation of Hire-Taxi Associations, intends to pursue possibilities for Japan’s next-generation taxis.”"

Toyota may not be launching this service until next year, but it will demonstrate the app starting next week at the 2017 Tokyo Motor Show.

Courtesy: Toyota Newsroom
Smartphone screen images of Lane-specific traffic-congetion information. (Courtesy: Toyota Newsroom) /
Courtesy: Toyota Newsroom
Smartphone screen images of Construction-related traffic-restriction information. (Courtesy: Toyota Newsroom) /

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We are certainly grateful for the technology we have in our cars now, like lane departure/assist alerts. It will be really interesting to see how this experiment translates to an actual product. For now, we will wait to see how their display and demo went at the Tokyo Motor Show at the end of the month.

Source: Automobile Mag