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Tourist navigation system order from Japanese Ministry

Oki Electric Industry : 16 January, 2009  (Application Story)
OKI to develop navigation system supporting the comfort and safety of tourists in Japan as part of contract signed by Japanese Interior Affairs Ministry
Oki Electric Industry has received a contract from Japan's MIC (Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications) to develop a "Demonstration of car navigation system to support comfortable driving for tourists," as part of a project promoting Ubiquitous Special Zones. Under the contract, OKI started to develop the ISLAND (Integrated Spot Local Assistance & News Delivery) System for tourist drivers using its DSRC*2 inter-vehicle communication system.

Considering the characteristics of tourist spots lacking information and communication infrastructure, this system can offer information that matches tourist drivers' needs. Such information is provided not through wireless base stations connected to an information delivery center by a wired network, but through inter-vehicle communication technology where vehicles convey information, and a network is created directly by inter-vehicle communication. The service provided to tourist drivers includes:

1 Local TPO information
2 Word-of-mouth information
3 Traffic jam information
4 Concierge service for foreign tourists, etc.

To promote the system and the service, OKI plans to collaborate with related public institutions in Okinawa Prefecture and Uruma City, as well as local public and private institutions such as the Information Industry Association of Okinawa. In addition, OKI plans to establish research collaboration with Nissan Motor to support safe driving at tourist sights.

Regarding DSRC inter-vehicle communication in Japan, an inter-vehicle communication system to support safe driving is being developed to achieve safe and reliable road traffic. At the end of this fiscal year ending March 31, 2009, a large-scale field trial to support safe driving will be conducted between the public and private sectors. OKI is currently providing equipment to enable DSRC inter-vehicle communication for safe driving to all the participating auto makers. OKI is also planning to integrate the platform used in DSRC inter-vehicle communication for safe driving with DSRC inter-vehicle communication for comfortable driving to deliver tourist information via the ISLAND system. Commercialization is expected at an early date. In addition, OKI will work with auto makers, car navigation makers, and in-vehicle equipment manufacturers to develop terminals and delivery applications suitable to tourist drivers and will work to start service offering at an early date.

This is a project that will be implemented at Uruma City, Okinawa Prefecture for three years (from the fiscal year ending March 2009 to fiscal year ending March 2011). This project will be conducted at a Ubiquitous Special Zone categorized as a "Ubiquitous Tourism Region." This system to be developed and demonstrated will consist of a "system to support comfortable driving" to deliver tourist information and a "sub system to support safety driving."

1. System to support comfortable driving

A DSRC inter-vehicle communication-based tourist information delivery function will be added on to the ETC in-vehicle system that is mounted on almost all rental cars. Information will be delivered through communication between the roadside repeater equipment and in-vehicle equipment, which will both be equipped with DSRC inter-vehicle communication equipment. There is no need for the roadside repeater equipment to be connected to the information delivery center or a wired network because the content will be updated from the information each car will transport. Thus, without a large amount of cost to lay out wired networks, an infrastructure can be established by simply placing roadside repeater equipment on the road that has DSRC inter-vehicle communication equipment.

2. Sub system to support safe driving

This is a system to help notify drivers in accident-prone areas and non line-of-sight areas at tourist locations by detecting the location of other vehicles nearby. The accuracy of location information is improved by using the roadside repeater equipment as a reference point and sending GPS correction information. By using this corrected information, each vehicle will correct their GPS location information and will exchange information directly or via the roadside repeater equipment on the road.

The system uses 5.8GHz band DSRC inter-vehicle communication to exchange information. On the other hand, when sending GPS correction information from the roadside repeater equipment, on the road, it will use UHF bandwidth, which will be used in ITS (Intelligent Transport Systems) going forward.
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