The Japanese company gathers traffic information from taxis, trucks and other vehicles that are equipped with smartphones and Global Positioning System capability. Data such as location and speed are collected and processed every 15 minutes. A map then shows traffic jams, road closures after disasters, and other information using cloud-computing technology.
The data are available for service subscribers via smartphones and car-navigation systems. The system handles roughly 50 million data a day, providing highly detailed information.
In Thailand the company, part of the Toyota Group, has started offering the low-cost traffic-information service to 10,000 vehicles. It has signed contracts with taxi companies and others.
Toyota Tsusho hopes the service will catch on in cities that lack intelligent transport-system infrastructure. It can be used anywhere that smartphones and cloud servers are available.
In Indonesia, the company has pitched the service to taxi companies and participants in a demonstration test led by the Japanese government. The number of inquiries about the service from the Middle East and elsewhere has risen. The company hopes to win contracts on the back of the service’s successful implementation in Thailand.
In Japan and many other industrialised countries, traffic information is gathered by using sensors installed along the roads. These devices provide highly accurate data, but cost a lot of money to install. More advanced systems are also unable to gather data unless sensors are installed, which often means information on minor roads is not processed.