Nissan Motor is to initiate a large-scale community-based test of its Intelligent Transport System (ITS). The test hopes to integrate cellular communications with vehicle telematics to help prevent pedestrian-related accidents.

The pilot project will be conducted in Atsugi, Kanagawa Prefecture for a two-month period from 1 November 1 to 27 December.

"This represents the first and largest such experiment conducted of its kind, involving 500 pedestrians and 200 drivers, and in collaboration with NTT DoCoMo Inc, the largest mobile network operator in Japan," a statement said.

Participants will use a special cellular phone that is compatible to the Nissan navigation system on-board test vehicles, and simply go about their regular daily routines, commuting within the neighbourhood.

Nissan first began the basic test of the system in April 2007.

As a vehicle is approaching a residential city area where many blind intersections exist, the driver can be alerted of a pedestrian hidden around the corner, by voice message and screen display via the navigation system.

Nissan said this was possible as the information server detects data transmitted via GPS (Global Positioning System) to the cellular phone carried by the pedestrian and sends it to the vehicle navigation system, which then triggers the alert.

The system assists the driver to take precautionary measures and drive more carefully, which can help to reduce pedestrian-vehicle collisions.

Nissan said it hopes the pilot will verify the effectiveness of the system to support safer driving. Nissan also will monitor the changes in driver-behaviour, such as the response time and deceleration after the alert, for quantitative analysis.