Toyota Motor said that from 2021 it plans to sell vehicles in the USA that communicate with each other to help improve road safety, if proposals put to the US Transportation Department are accepted.

The Japanese automaker's proposals require vehicles of all brands to be able to communicate with each other using dedicated short range wireless technology. A standard industry wide system using a common language and standard programmes is needed for the project to work.

According to local reports, the US government at the end of 2016, under the Obama administration, proposed to make such technology compulsory in new vehicles. Automakers were to be given four years to introduce the technology in their vehicles. 

Vehicle manufacturers globally have been studying vehicle to vehicle communications for close to two decades and local reports suggest a block of spectrum in the 5.9 GHz band had been allocated to automakers by the US government since 1999 - which so far has gone unused.

Systems developed so far transmit data, including location, direction and speed, 10 times per second to vehicles within a 300m radius and warn drivers if they are in danger of an imminent collision.

Toyota has had such a system in operation in Japan since 2015 and so far it has been deployed in over 100,000 vehicles.

The automaker hopes to roll out similar technology to most of its US vehicle line by the mid 2020s, if the US government agrees to push ahead with the programme.

It hopes that by openly announcing these plans other automakers will agree to back its proposals.

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