Oki Electric Industry Co., Ltd. today announced it has succeeded in developing the world's first ultra small DSRC (Dedicated Short Range Communication)(1) wireless module for embedding in mobile phones to be used for DSRC inter-vehicle communication systems. Using this module based on an OKI LSI, the company succeeded in trial production of the world's first mobile phone, "Safety Mobile Phone" specifically designed to improve pedestrian safety. The Safety Mobile Phone notifies vehicles in the surrounding area of its location and retrieves the location information of vehicles in the surrounding area that are equipped with the DSRC inter-vehicle communication system. By making it possible to reduce the occurrence of vehicle-pedestrian accidents, the phone contributes to pedestrian safety.
Under the "New IT Reform Strategy" announced by Japan's Cabinet Office, Japan plans to develop necessary technologies that can reduce the number of pedestrians killed in traffic accidents. The government and private sectors will start large-scale trials for systems to improve safety driving from the fiscal year ending March 2009, with plans to start operations from the fiscal year ending March 2011.
"We focused our attention on leveraging mobile phones, since they are used by over 80% of the population in Japan. Our goal is to improve the safety of vulnerable road users including pedestrians and those on bicycles," said Masao Miyashita, President of Systems Solutions Company at Oki Electric Industry. "We plan to develop products in line with the New IT Reform Strategy and to work closely with car manufacturers to develop applications to improve safe driving and improve safety for pedestrians."
The Safety Mobile Phone prototype is able to interconnects the DSRC inter-vehicle communication function and the GPS location positioning function, enabled through ultra small DSRC wireless module, with the mobile phone's GSM(2) function. Pedestrians with this device can create a DSRC wireless area (within a several hundred meters radius) with vehicles equipped with inter-vehicle communication equipment. The device sends out its location information at a regular time interval within the area. When the two locations become close and when the received power from each device goes over the specified value, location information will constantly be exchanged. In addition, when there is a high possibility of a traffic accident based on the location information, it will warn the users beforehand.
In the future, the phone will be able to instantly analyze the behavior of other parties based on exchanged location information and the passage of time. When there is a possibility that two parties are near collision, pedestrians will be warned through the vibration function on their mobile phones, and drivers will be informed through voice guidance function on the inter-vehicle communication equipment, helping avoid danger for both drivers and pedestrians.
OKI will work to lower the power consumption, achieve smaller sized DSRC wireless modules, and improve the user interface. OKI will also make efforts to integrate 3G mobile phones, PHS, and wireless LAN functions into a single mobile handset as part of a large-scale public-private experiment to be conducted in Japan. OKI also plans to achieve compatibility with IEEE802.11p, the DSRC international standard.
(1) DSRC: This is a communication method for short range used in road-to-vehicle communication such as ETC and controlling commercial vehicles.
(2) GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications): This is a 2G communication method used in over 210 countries and regions including Asia (excluding Japan and Korea) and North America.