A view of the ASV-3 test track from the windshield of the Nissan car. The vehicle-to-vehicle communication system detects nearby cars and alerts the driver with an audible or visual warning.
A view of the ASV-3 test track from the windshield of the Nissan car. The vehicle-to-vehicle communication system detects nearby cars and alerts the driver with an audible or visual warning.
[Click to enlarge image]

On October 12, 2005, Japan's Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport (MLIT) conducted a public road test, at it's winter test track in Hokkaido Prefecture, for the "ASV (Advanced Safety Vehicle) -3," a project led by MLIT to reduce accidents by using a vehicle-to-vehicle communication system. Since April 2001, Japanese auto makers have developed systems for this project. At the test track, 14 auto makers actually drove test vehicles equipped with the system to show the system details and operation.

Although a MLIT official commented that, "There are no standards or specifications yet," all systems utilized the 5.8-GHz frequency band. All the test vehicles deployed the same antenna and communication device, although each maker developed a unique way to alert drivers for dangers such as potential collisions.

Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. has adopted a scheme in which the positions of other nearby cars are displayed as icons the car navigation system on the monitor. When a danger of collision is imminent, an alert icon will appear in the upper right corner of the monitor. Daihatsu Motor Co., Ltd. also presented a method using the monitor of the car navigation system to display a warning.

Meanwhile, Mitsubishi Motors Corp. exhibited a system using a dedicated monitor mounted on the car navigation system. An arrow mark will appear on this dedicated monitor when other cars are approaching. "We have adopted this system to reduce eye movement between the front of the vehicle and the monitor," said a Mitsubishi spokesperson.

Keisuke Ogawa, Nikkei Automotive Technology

Nissan's test vehicle. The system detects a car approaching from the corner of the car and prompts the driver to be careful.
Nissan's test vehicle. The system detects a car approaching from the corner of the car and prompts the driver to be careful.
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Daihatsu's test vehicle. Warnings are displayed on the monitor of the car navigation system similar to the Nissan system. In this test, a notebook PC carried into the backseat of the car was used for calculation and display, while presenting the information on the monitor of the car navigation system.
Daihatsu's test vehicle. Warnings are displayed on the monitor of the car navigation system similar to the Nissan system. In this test, a notebook PC carried into the backseat of the car was used for calculation and display, while presenting the information on the monitor of the car navigation system.
[Click to enlarge image]
Mitsubishi's test vehicle. A dedicated monitor is installed on top of the instrument panel of the car navigation system. An arrow mark indicates an approaching car.
Mitsubishi's test vehicle. A dedicated monitor is installed on top of the instrument panel of the car navigation system. An arrow mark indicates an approaching car.
[Click to enlarge image]