Safety first: Lexus will provide two RX450h F Sport SUVs to collect and study data in an effort to reduce traffic congestion and improve road safety.
LEXUS Australia has teamed with the Queensland government for a two-year trial of advanced safety vehicle technologies in a bid to reduce congestion and improve road safety in a pair of RX large SUVs.
In addition to the standard safety equipment of autonomous emergency braking and lane-keep assist, the two hybrid crossover models – 450h F Sports – will be equipped with extra tools that enable wireless interaction with each other and infrastructure such as traffic lights via dedicated short-range communications (DSRC).
Headlining the boosted technology is an advanced red-light warning system that “alerts drivers that they (are) likely to violate the red light unless they apply the brakes” and road works warning that can dynamically alert drivers to changing speed limits.
Other systems include an emergency electric brake light and slow/stopped vehicle system, as well as vulnerable road user turn, road hazard, back-of-queue and in-vehicle speed warnings.
The pair of RXs will undergo testing in all traffic and road conditions, according to Lexus, to collect data for the study.
Lexus Australia chief executive Scott Thompson said the car-maker would look closely at the data generated, which should pave the way for more autonomous vehicle technologies.
“Our local engineering team, working closely with the Queensland government, will assess the effectiveness of intelligent transport systems while expanding our understanding of driver acceptance of these technologies,” he said.
“At Lexus, helping to make roads safer and driving more efficient and enjoyable, is driven by our global commitment to reduce traffic fatalities and CO2 emissions to zero.”
Meanwhile, Queensland transport and main roads minister Mark Bailey said Lexus will use Ipswich and Mount Cotton as a base for testing.
“Having Lexus Australia select Queensland as allocation for their first connected vehicle testing sends a strong message to the vehicle industry that Queensland values the potential safety benefits of these technologies, and is ready for their introduction,” he said.
“These vehicles, which will connect to each other and to infrastructure, will also be capable of recording data and visual information for the purpose of evaluating the effectiveness of the trial, understanding user acceptance of the technology, and identifying problems.
“Lexus Australia will be utilising the Ipswich Connected Vehicle Pilot test bed and the Mount Cotton Driver Training Centre for the tests which will occur over 2019 and 2020.”
The Lexus RX450h F Sport starts at $93,350 before on-roads and uses a 3.5-litre petrol V6 teamed with an electric motor for a combined output of 221kW/370Nm.