Mazda to test safety system
DEVELOPING its reputation for cutting-edge safety technology, Mazda will start trials next month of a unique system enabling vehicles and trams to communicate with one another.
The company will also begin testing its Mazda6 ASV-5 (Advanced Safety Vehicle) on public roads in Japan. It could have important consequences here where the Luas in Dublin and cars share road space, a situation which will increase when the cross-city link opens in 2017.
A first of its kind in the world, the system communicates using 700MHz radio waves, allowing cars and trams to share a variety of data, including the type and location of a vehicle, the direction they're heading, and braking and turn signal information.
The ASV-5 saloon is equipped with autonomous millimetre wave and microwave sensors as well as cameras to monitor its surroundings and keep track of pedestrians, road markings, other vehicles and, of course, trams.
The purpose of the trials is to confirm the communication system's ability to prevent accidents.
They will be conducted on the streets of Hiroshima, where trams carry 150,000 people daily and, as in many European cities, represent a vital public transportation link.