TC Smartphone Navigation App to offer traffic information

Toyota City, Japan — Toyota Motor Corporation, as an outcome of ongoing verification testing(1) being conducted with the Japan Federation of Hire-Taxi Associations since April 2017, plans to start on a trial basis a service that provides lane-specific traffic-congestion information(2) to its TC Smartphone Navigation(3) smartphone app. 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.

The lane-specific traffic-congestion information Toyota plans to provide, complementing Toyota’s DCM-enabled services, is generated by AI-facilitated analysis of driving image data collected from TransLog units. Whereas conventional traffic-congestion information only informed drivers of traffic conditions for segments of roadway, Toyota’s newly developed system better supports drivers by providing information on traffic conditions by lane, with such information confirmable through on-screen photographs.

The lane-specific traffic-congestion information trial service is to only cover traffic conditions in the Tokyo metropolitan area and be accessible only via TC Smartphone Navigation. However, based on user rates and various technical evaluations, Toyota plans to consider expanding the areas covered and the types of devices through which the service can be accessed.

Also, from driving video data acquired through taxis, Toyota expects to be able to obtain information on road construction and traffic accidents, on roadway obstacles, as well as on parking-space vacancies and the degree of congestion around various retail outlets directly facing streets and other roadways. Toyota plans to advance its development of new traffic information services based on real-time extraction of key elements from such information.

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.

How Toyota’s lane-specific traffic-congestion information is displayed is scheduled to be shown at the organizer-sponsored Tokyo Connected Lab 2017 themed exhibit at the 45th Tokyo Motor Show 2017.

(1) For more information on the verification testing.
(2) Lane-specific traffic-congestion information is to be generated based on information obtained from the verification testing. (Points analyzed during driving by taxis equipped with TransLog are displayable once analysis is complete.)
(3) For more information on TC Smart Navigation, please click here. Compatible devices: iPhones and Android devices. Service territory: Japan. Supported language: Japanese.

Smartphone screen images of Lane-specific traffic-congestion information

When nearing a roadway point for which information is available, the system displays congested lanes in a different color and simultaneously provides voice notification. Tapping on the display of congested lane prompts a popup photograph.

Smartphone screen images of Construction-related traffic-restriction information

At roadway points for which information is available, the mark indicating road construction will be displayed. Tapping on the mark prompts a popup photograph.

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