The in-car system will gather signals from a variety of stationary objects, including traffic lights and electricity poles, estimate the vehicle's speed and warn drivers of impending disasters. If the system coordinates everything properly, the driver will be alerted when they exceed the speed limit in a school zone or if another motorist is about to blow through a red light.
All this is in an effort by the Japanese government to institute an intelligent transportation system that will reduce crashes throughout the country, beginning in 2010. Both Honda and Toyota are joining in the development of the system, which will also utilize mobile phones to judge speed, identify congestion and suggest alternate routes to avoid being bogged down in traffic.
How much of the system will be utilized for the above and how much will be bastardized into some Orwellian nightmare remains to be seen. We'll just admit that we'd be hard-pressed to 'volunteer' for such a study.
[Source: The Auto Channel]