The specially prepared Lexus RX 450h fitted with Dedicated Short Range Communication (DSRC) and cellular network technologies.


20 July 2021


Lexus Australia will become the first automotive partner to join the ground-breaking Australian Integrated Multimodal EcoSystem (AIMES), a real-world testing environment for vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure communications technology.

AIMES is a collaboration of 50 government, transport and technology partners led by the University of Melbourne, and this real-world trial of advanced Co-operative Intelligent Transport Systems (C-ITS) technology will deliver crucial research to provide next-generation road safety solutions.

Two specially prepared Lexus RX 450h SUVs, fitted with Dedicated Short Range Communication (DSRC) and cellular network technologies, will be found travelling around a special precinct in Carlton, Melbourne, from mid 2021.

The two Lexus RX 450h SUVs can communicate with traffic lights, trams and emergency service vehicles to proactively deliver warnings and alerts of potential danger to the driver of the vehicle before they come into a driver's line of sight.

Lexus aims to use the trial to develop applications such as warning the driver when turning in front of a tram, or warning the driver when a cyclist or pedestrian has pushed the button on traffic lights to cross the road - including at challenging 'hook-turn' intersections.

Lexus will develop and trial further applications including alerts when a driver attempts to enter a one-way street or freeway entry/exit the wrong way, when an emergency vehicle is approaching - or when it might not be safe to enter an intersection.

Trialing how vehicles communicate with other vehicles and the local environment is critical to achieve a cohesive ecosystem between drivers and other road users to ensure drivers are delivered warnings of potential danger ahead of time.

Trialing this technology targets a reduced risk of vehicles driving through red lights, turning into trams, or being unable to see pedestrians obstructed by traffic lights and other infrastructure before they step onto the road.

Lexus Australia Chief Executive Scott Thompson said the luxury lifestyle brand is committed to investment in a wide ecosystem of new technologies to achieve higher vehicle safety standards.

"Imaginative technology and leveraging innovation are core to the Lexus DNA, and we are committed to delivering next-generation road safety outcomes," Mr Thompson said.

"Lexus would like to thank the Victorian and Queensland Government, and the University of Melbourne, for their partnership in developing important road safety research."

Lexus Australia's partnership with AIMES builds upon previous C-ITS trials in partnership with the Victorian and Queensland governments that concluded in 2020.

In Victoria, Lexus Australia participated in the Advanced Connected Vehicles for Victoria project. In Queensland, Lexus Australia worked with the Department of Transport and Main Roads (Queensland) Cooperative and Automated Vehicle Initiative (CAVI) that was centred in Ipswich, south-west of Brisbane.

Those trials enabled Lexus to develop applications such as warning drivers of red lights ahead, pedestrians about to cross the road at traffic lights, and alerting drivers to the presence of slow or stopped vehicles, road works or road hazards such as water or debris - elements that will continue to be tested in this trial.

Lexus has successfully demonstrated DSRC technology for vehicle to vehicle (V2V) and vehicle to infrastructure (V2I) communications in Japan since 2015.

Software for the new Melbourne trial has been developed locally by Lexus Australia engineers specifically to address the city's unique traffic environment and regulations.

The AIMES trial is centred in the AIMES testbed incorporating a six-square-kilometre area spanning Carlton, Fitzroy and Collingwood, bordered by Victoria Parade, Hoddle Street, Alexandra Parade and Lygon Street.

In addition to the connected vehicles, the AIMES trial area incorporates a network of smart sensors connecting public transport, pedestrians and cyclists, intersections, and streets into a fully integrated ecosystem.

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