Toyota Motor Corp. will introduce systems in about two years enabling cars to communicate with each other to avoid collision.

The system will use radio waves to gather data on the speed of other vehicles to keep a safe distance. And, the company also showed another system, consisting of cameras, radar and control software, that helps a car maintain position in a lane on its own.

Toyota's research for developing automated driving systems is focused on reducing traffic fatalities, said Moritaka Yoshida, managing officer and chief safety technology officer.

With the real-time speed information shared via wireless communication, cars can eliminate unnecessary acceleration and deceleration which in turn can reduce traffic congestion and boost fuel efficiency, he said.

Bloomberg reports that the system Toyota has developed incorporates technologies derived from its automated driving research and the carmaker has said it aims to create a virtual "co-pilot" in vehicles that helps drivers avert accidents.

Sales of driver assistance systems is estimated by Roland Berger Strategy Consultants to double to $5.4 billion in the five years through 2017.

Toyota recognizes the importance of the driver being in ultimate control of a vehicle and is therefore aiming to introduce Automated Highway Driving Assist (AHDA) and other advanced driving support systems where the driver maintains control and the fun-to-drive aspect of controlling a vehicle is not compromised. Toyota plans to market the newly developed AHDA in the mid-2010s and other driving support systems as soon as possible to provide safe and secure means of transportation.

Components of AHDA include:

Cooperative-adaptive Cruise Control
In contrast to standard radar cruise control (which uses millimeter-wave radar to detect other vehicles), Cooperative-adaptive Cruise Control uses 700-MHz band vehicle-to-vehicle ITS communications to transmit acceleration and deceleration data of preceding vehicles so that following vehicles can adjust their speeds accordingly to better maintain inter-vehicle distance. By reducing unnecessary acceleration and deceleration, the system improves fuel efficiency and helps reduce traffic congestion.

Lane Trace Control
Lane Trace Control, which features completely new Toyota automated driving technologies, employs high-performance cameras, millimeter-wave radar and control software to enable an optimal and smooth driving line at all speeds. The system adjusts the vehicle’s steering angle, driving torque and braking force when necessary to maintain the optimal line within the lane.

Interesting stuff... I'm anxious to see it move from the test tracks to the real world.