Toyota has started developing a way for cars to talk to infrastructures, such as traffic lights so that a driver can know exactly when the light is going to turn green or to alert drivers when they are turning into oncoming traffic at busy intersections. Cleverly called an Intelligent Transportation System (ITS), the system is only available on three Japanese domestic models right now, but research is already being conducted on how this can benefit the United States and Europe. Using a 760 MHz radio frequency, once a car comes within 100 meters of a transmitter, a symbol on the instrument display will show that data is being transferred. When two vehicles are both equipped with ITS Connect, they can communicate through radio-guided cruise control to improve flow of traffic (see below).
Currently there are only 20 junctions in Tokyo that are equipped with transmitters for the ITS-enabled vehicles but they plan to have 50 by next year. Toyota is hoping that this new technology will cut down on traffic fatalities, especially at busy intersections and junctions where 45% of traffic fatalities occur in Japan. Surprisingly, the cost for this interesting and potentially life-changing new technology is around $200. Toyota has plans to add this feature to global vehicles as well.