Toyota Motor Corp announced Jan 12, 2016, a concept model of its "connected car" using a communication satellite (CS) at North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) 2016.
The vehicle was developed based on the Mirai FCV (fuel-cell vehicle).
Existing connected cars exchange various data via a wireless network such as for mobile phones. On the other hand, the concept car, "Kymeta Concept," uses a satellite connection in place of a wireless network, enabling to transmit a larger amount of data to any region of the world at high speeds. It is also useful in exchanging high-accuracy map data, which is necessary to realize autonomous driving.
Conventionally, parabolic antennas are used for satellite communications. However, they are large-size bowl-shaped antennas and cannot be easily mounted on, for example, the roof of a vehicle.
This problem was solved with a small planar antenna that Toyota developed in cooperation with Kymeta Corp. It is small and thin enough to be mounted on the roof.