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News

Phone attachment for pedestrian safety

Oki Electric Industry : 08 January, 2009  (New Product)
GPS positional information to assist vehicle awareness of pedestrians to increase road safety using simple mobile phone attachment
Phone attachment for pedestrian safety
Oki Electric Industry has announced the development of the world's first DSRC inter-vehicle communication attachment for mobile phones to enable pedestrian and vehicle communication. By connecting the Safety Mobile Phone Attachment to mobile phones, pedestrians can directly exchange location information with vehicles with inter-vehicle communication system.

"We have a strong technology base in inter-vehicle communication and are currently working on developing a 'SPAN System,' which is a system for person and vehicle communication for road safety. We are working to improve safety for vulnerable road users, such as pedestrians and bicycle riders, which account for more than 40% of the total number of people killed through traffic accidents," said Masayoshi Matsushita, Senior Vice President at OKI. "In 2007 we developed the Safety Mobile Phone and now we are pleased to announce the development of the world's first Safety Mobile Phone Attachment that enables intercommunication between vehicles and pedestrians."

Japan is developing inter-vehicle communication systems to support safe driving and enhance road traffic safety. In May 2007, OKI announced the Safety Mobile Phone, a system whereby mobile phones that are used by over 80% of the population in Japan, can be utilized to help support pedestrian safety. The Safety Mobile Phone included an ultra small DSRC wireless module in a GSM mobile phone. Now to enable system evaluation, consideration of pedestrian safety applications, and result verifications to be done more easily, OKI has succeeded in developing the Safety Mobile Phone Attachment, which can be connected and used on Japanese phones.

The "Safety Mobile Phone Attachment" was developed based on the Safety Mobile Phone system. It is compatible with GPS (Global Positioning System) technology and can send positioning data via DSRC. When the attachment receives a DSRC data packet from a vehicle, it will transmit the information to the mobile phone via UART (Universal Asynchronous Receiver Transmitter). Likewise, by sending commands to the attachment via UART, mobile phones can transmit specific DSRC packet information. Thus, by connecting the attachment to an external device that has a UART interface, such as a mobile phone, users can develop applications on that platform.

The attachment comes not only with a GPS receiver but also an acceleration sensor and a magnetic sensor which enable users to develop improved positioning performance such as to supplement GPS positioning or inertial navigation.

In addition, OKI was able to prevent radio attenuation caused by the human body when a 5GHz bandwidth DSRC communication device is incorporated in a mobile phone. By embedding antennas in the mobile phone strap that pedestrians use for hanging their phones from their neck, radio attenuation can be prevented because two antennas (one in front of the body and the other one behind the body) are provided.

By using this product, a pedestrian will notify nearby vehicles of his or her location and obtain their location through the DSRC inter-vehicle communication function. In addition, the attachment and phone can alert the users beforehand when the positioning of the person and vehicle may lead to a traffic accident. This technology will contribute to Japan's "Inter communication system for pedestrians, roads and vehicles" under the "New IT Reform Strategy," which will start from the fiscal year ending March 2011, and will contribute to reducing accidents for the vulnerable road users.

Going forward, OKI will develop effective applications supporting safety, such as effective ways to alert pedestrians to danger via their mobile phones, as well as methods of displaying pedestrians and vehicle intentions, etc. OKI will expand interface and driver functionality and applications to connect with Japanese mobile phone carriers. In addition, the company plans to include UHF band inter-vehicle communication functionality, expand to IEEE802.11p capability and develop modules that can be incorporated in 3G mobile phones.

OKI will actively develop and sell this product in addition to the in-vehicle system for inter-vehicle communication, thus contributing to the development of systems to support safe driving.

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