Toyota Olympic Fuel Cell Buses Boast V2V and V2X

Toyota is claiming a comprehensive range of safety features including a bespoke V2V and V2X radio system on its Sora1 hydrogen fuel cell electric bus.

It’s based on the vehicle’s intelligent transport system (ITS) and will be employed on the more than 100 vehicles are expected to be on the road in time for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics.

The vehicles also boast a form of platooning with ITS Connect Vehicle-Convoy Information Service. This system uses information about individual buses, their sequence and the distance between vehicles traveling together to prevent a convoy being separated at traffic lights or bus stops, improving capacity, speed and punctuality of the service.

It employs V2V communications and millimeter-wave radar to recognize information on the individual buses, bus order and distance between buses traveling in convoy, and notifies the drivers of the convoy size. To ensure the entire convoy can pass through a set of traffic lights together, the last bus in the line sends a request to the lights to remain green for an extended time.

The buses will be equipped with a function that warns the driver when making right turns at junctions and a system the passengers can use to trigger an emergency stop in urgent situations, for example if the driver is suddenly taken ill. The system also shares information on the distance between vehicles to prevent two or more buses traveling in convoy from being separated at traffic lights or bus stops.

Its suite of preventative safety features also include traffic light recognition such as:

  • Red light caution: when the bus approaches a red light at a junction, the system activates an alert if the driver does not ease off the accelerator, or does not see the red light ahead;
  • Red light slowing: when the vehicle is approaching a junction and stopping for a red light is likely, the system encourages early deceleration;
  • Signal change advisory: to avoid delayed starts at traffic lights, a display shows the driver the time remaining until the lights change.In the event of an emergency, Emergency Driving Stop System (EDSS) allows the driver or passengers to activate an emergency brake switch to slow the bus and bring it to a halt. As the bus begins to decelerate, red flashing lights and a voice alert warn passengers of the emergency. The vehicle’s horn sounds and the stop lights and hazard lights flash to warn those outside the vehicle.

There is also an optional Automatic Arrival Control System which detects guide lines on the road surface and automatically steers and decelerates the bus, bringing it to a halt at designated stops and minimizing  gaps between the vehicle and bus stop. This makes it easier for people using pushchairs or wheelchairs to board or alight.

— Paul Myles is a seasoned automotive journalist based in London. Follow him on Twitter @Paulmyles_

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