Nissan Motor will soon begin trials of a system to warn drivers when they are heading in the wrong direction on an expressway.
Tests of the service will be operated with West Nippon Expressway Co., which operates expressways in western Japan, with a view to it being generally available in Nissan cars in Japan from 2011.
In the last few years there have been a number of incidents where drivers have entered an expressway via the off-ramp and proceeded to drive against oncoming traffic. The mistakes, which can sometimes be deadly, are most common at highway service areas where drivers get disorientated and end up heading down the wrong road. The number of such incidents is expected to increase as Japan's population ages.
As a result the expressway operator began working on ways to stop the incidents and the system developed with Nissan is one such answer.
The Nissan system will alert the driver when the car's navigation system detects its about to head the wrong way along a road at or near a service area or interchange.
The system will also show visual alerts when the car is driving on stretches of expressway that go slowly downhill. On such stretches of road accidents are common because it's easy for drivers to gain speed without realizing. Visual warnings advising the driver to slow down will also show when approaching off-ramps that are often congested.
Nissan has been building ever more complex systems into its cars to make driving safer for the car driver and passengers, other road users and pedestrians. The company's safety project has as its goal to halve the number of fatalities or serious injuries in accidents involving its vehicles between 1995 and 2015.