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Mazda beginning road trials of advanced safety vehicle; streetcar-to-vehicle communication system

3 September 2013

Mazda Motor Corporation will begin testing its advanced safety vehicle, the Mazda Atenza ASV-5, on public roads from September 2013. The vehicle will be used to test a driving safety support system which utilizes intelligent transport systems (ITS) jointly developed by industrial, academic and government organizations.

The car will also take part in the 20th ITS World Congress Tokyo 2013 in October and demonstrate a safety system that will see streetcars and automobiles communicating with each on the streets of Hiroshima.

Used by approximately 150,000 people daily, streetcars form an essential component of Hiroshima’s public transportation system. The new safety system enables communication between streetcars and automobiles equipped with an autonomous sensor. The trial is aimed at verifying the system’s ability to prevent collisions and support smooth and safe driving.

The system was developed and is being tested by the Hiroshima ITS Research Unit with sponsorship from the Hiroshima ITS Public Road Test Consortium. Hiroshima ITS Research Unit is composed of the University of Tokyo, Mazda Motor Corporation, Hiroshima Electric Railway Co., Ltd. and National Traffic Safety and Environment Laboratory. It conducts validation trials on public roads under the auspices of Hiroshima ITS Public Road Test Consortium.

Hiroshima ITS Public Road Test Consortium plans and coordinates local validation trials in the Hiroshima area for the promotion of ITS. It is made up of Hiroshima University; the University of Tokyo; Chugoku Bureau of Telecommunications, Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications; Road Department, Chugoku Regional Development Bureau, Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism; Hiroshima National Highway Office, Chugoku Regional Development Bureau, Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism; Chugoku District Transport Bureau, Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism; Hiroshima Prefectural Police; Hiroshima Prefecture Civil Engineering Bureau; Hiroshima City Road Transportation Bureau; Chugoku Branch, West Nippon Expressway Company Ltd.; Mazda; Hiroshima Electric Railway Co. Ltd. and National Traffic Safety and Environment Laboratory.

There is renewed interest in streetcars globally as a form of eco-friendly public transport, and improving technology is also reducing the impact that private automobiles have on the environment. This experiment advances collaborative research aimed at establishing a safe transportation system that makes the most of the advantages of both rail and vehicular transport.

Mazda is developing advanced safety technologies through a variety of approaches, including this ITS verification test and its own independent development process which recently produced i-ACTIVSENSE. In addition to supporting the driver in recognizing and judging hazards in a variety of driving situations, the i-ACTIVSENSE range of advanced safety technologies helps to avoid accidents and reduce the resulting damage when they do occur.

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