Toyota City, Japan, April 22, 2013—Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) conducted a safe driving class for seniors at the Toyota Chuo Driving School here today as part of field tests being conducted to curtail increasingly frequent accidents at intersections involving senior drivers. In cooperation with the non-profit Toyota Transportation Research Institute (TTRI), Toyota Chuo Driving School Co., Ltd., Toyota Central R&D Labs, Inc., and other organizations, the field tests began in February with 50 senior driver participants recruited in Toyota City, Aichi Prefecture, and are scheduled to conclude in May.
Areas near stop-sign and traffic-light intersections primarily in the Suenohara and Ryujin districts of Toyota City were selected as field test sites based on past traffic accident data as well as the location of senior residences.
Approximately half of all traffic accidents involving senior drivers occur in or in the vicinity of intersections, with approximately 50 percent* caused by failure to exercise due care. For the field tests, drive recorders were installed on participant vehicles to enable the analysis of driving patterns, with the results being used in today's safe driving class to help inform drivers of the importance of exercising due care on the road. A follow-up survey on the effects of the class will also be conducted.
In addition to the drive recorders, participant vehicles were fitted with an onboard camera that detects stop signs and red traffic lights at intersections and a warning system that issues aural and visual warnings to the driver if intersections are approached at high speed. Surveys will be conducted on the effects of the system and driver acceptance, with the results to be used in future technology development.
TMC is responsible for overall planning and organization of the field tests, TTRI for field test operation, Toyota Central R&D Labs for driving-behavior analysis, and Toyota Chuo Driving School for planning and operation of the safe driving class.
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TMC is developing safer vehicles and technologies based on its Integrated Safety Management concept—an approach that gives direction to safety technology and vehicle development—and is pressing forward with measures that integrate people, vehicles and the traffic environment to contribute to the elimination of traffic fatalities and injuries, the ultimate goal of a society that values mobility.
*Based on 2011 Institute for Traffic Accident Research and Data Analysis traffic accident statistics