Nissan Motor on Tuesday said it is developing an advanced ‘intelligent transportation system’ (ITS) using cellphone technology to help reduce accidents involving pedestrians.

Nissan is also researching pedestrian-related communication involving the transmitting of pedestrian position data to vehicles via the Global Positioning System (GPS).

ITS will use the next 3G cellular communications system, launched in Japan this month, where the GPS function is used to provide the location of the cellular phone. In this system, location data transmitted from the pedestrian’s cellular phone and vehicle is fed to the ITS to allow the system to determine the corresponding positions between the pedestrian and the vehicle.

A pedestrian alert will appear in the vehicle to warn the driver, helping to reduce road accidents particularly in a blind-spot situation.

Via cellular packet communications, the system collects probe data from the vehicle and position data from pedestrians. The received data is then computed to determine the corresponding location of the vehicle relative to the pedestrians on the road.

The ITS detects pedestrians ahead of the vehicle, and sends a warning alert to the driver in the event of a potential conflict.

Nissan is studying what types of pedestrian data are most relevant to help prevent accidents. The research will investigate a variety of factors influencing the pedestrian-vehicle’s relative positions, such as the directions in which pedestrians and the vehicle are moving, and the corresponding speeds and distances between them. Various driver alerts, such as visual warnings or audible alarms, are also under study.

Nissan is developing ITS with technical help from NTT DOCOMO on cellular communications technology.

The ITS project is a Nissan experimental programme conducted in Kanagawa Prefecture that began in October 2006. The programme is intended to help reduce traffic accidents and congestion using real-time driving data collected from vehicles. The ITS project allows Nissan to test various technology concepts and develop the most suitable technology for wide-scale applications.