Toyota to roll out big data traffic service in Japan

Traffic information from the automaker's 700,000 vehicles on Japanese roads will be collected and processed, and can help drivers during disasters. The new service will commence June 3.

Data from 700,000 Toyota vehicles on Japanese roads have been collected for the new service.

Toyota Motor will use live traffic information from its vehicles on the road to offer a big data service targeted at local governments and businesses, and to help drivers during disasters.

According to The Japan Times on Wednesday, data from 700,000 Toyota vehicles on roads across Japan already have been collected automatically for the service which processes data and provides the results to Toyota's clients.

The vehicle manufacturer also said the service, priced at 200,000 yen (US$1976.2) per month, will commence on June 3, 2013. 

Toyota added it will offer some of the information for free on smartphones and allow drivers to share their own observations on road conditions, including roadblocks and strong winds, with other motorists.

The use of big data to track vehicles is not new. U.S. automaker Ford said in a July 2012 ZDNet Asia report that big Data analytics created new opportunities for the company such as managing its business operations, researching on its vehicles, and gaining insights into what their customers look for

In March 2011, DHL Express also rolled out a pilot initiative on 16 of its 158 delivery trucks in Singapore to improve fuel efficiency by tracking driving habits of its delivery staff . The logistics company subsequently recorded a 5 percent improvement in fuel efficiency, 8 percent reduction in vehicle idle time, and a 41 percent drop in speed occurances.


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