THE local arm of Japanese luxury car maker Lexus will partner with the Victorian Government in a two-year trial of connected-vehicle technology aimed at reducing road trauma.
Lexus Australia and Telstra will undertake the Advanced Connected Vehicles Victoria (ACV2) trial to test cellular-based communications technology designed to reduce traffic accidents while managing traffic flow to reduce congestion, fuel consumption and emissions.
Two specially-equipped Lexus RX 450h F Sport luxury SUVs will be fitted with sensitive equipment that will enable them to communicate with each other and with roadside infrastructure, using new features of the 4G cellular network.
Lexus Australia chief executive Scott Thompson said the luxury car maker was proud to be involved in this local project aimed at making roads safer and driving more efficient and enjoyable.
“The role of Lexus as an innovator and leader in the development of advanced safety and traffic-management technologies is central to our parent company’s global vision to reduce traffic fatalities to zero,” Mr Thompson said.
“It is significant that this ground-breaking trial involves our local Connected Vehicle Services department along with VicRoads, the Transport Accident Commission and Telstra,” he said.
Mr Thompson said the extensive active and passive safety features plus the roomy interior of the RX 450h F Sport provides the ideal platform to test cooperative intelligent transport systems using cellular-to-everything technology.
“Lexus self-charging hybrids, such as the RX 450h F Sport, are often chosen to support the trialling of high-tech equipment due to the availability of two power sources – the petrol engine and the special hybrid technology.”
The Victorian Government is backing the trial through a grant program that supports the development of vehicles with connected and automated technology and safety features.
The two Lexus vehicles are already equipped with advanced safety features such as automated lane-keeping, autonomous emergency braking and a forward collision warning system.
Additional vehicle-to-vehicle, vehicle to infrastructure and vehicle-to-network technologies to be trialled with the two vehicles include an emergency electronic brake light which alerts drivers to a co-operative vehicle that is braking hard some distance ahead.
Testing also includes in-vehicle speed warnings, slow/stopped vehicle warnings, curve speed warnings and right-turn assist, which is designed to alert drivers to pedestrians or bicycles crossing at an upcoming intersection.
The final piece of technology being tested is a red-light violator warning, which alerts drivers that another co-operative vehicle is likely to run a red light across their path at the intersection ahead.