A Lexus RX 450h hybrid SUV fitted with special equipment that enableds vehicles to communicate with each other.


22 September 2022


Lexus Australia has won the prestigious Asia-Pacific industry hall of fame award at the Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) World Congress in Los Angeles for its commitment to advanced transport safety technology.

The ITS Asia-Pacific board of directors selected the Lexus Australia connected-vehicle pilot study in Ipswich, Queensland, as the best in the region, ahead of strong competition from other leading ITS organisations.

The research involved two specially equipped Lexus RX 450h hybrid SUVs fitted with sensitive equipment that enabled the vehicles to communicate with each other and roadside infrastructure as part of a successful two-year trial in conjunction with the Queensland Government's Department of Transport and Main Roads.

A Lexus RX 450h hybrid SUV fitted with special equipment that enableds vehicles to communicate with each other.

Lexus engineers worked closely with other stakeholder technology experts, tracking and providing input as the cars "talked" to the drivers from roadside equipment installed at 29 intersections. The advanced technology provided the vehicles with early warnings; including visual, audible and vibration alerts, covering a wide range of road and traffic conditions including speed limit changes, traffic signal status, road hazards and pedestrians about to cross intersections. Safety messages were also transmitted between vehicles to help prevent collisions.

Alerts were sent by radio waves using Dedicated Short-Range Communication (DSRC) technology, with a modified version of the technology fitted to around 350 other cars owned by the general public, enabling their vehicles to communicate with infrastructure and participate in the pilot.

Lexus Australia Chief Executive John Pappas said Lexus was proud to participate in the cutting-edge research as part of its global commitment to achieving zero traffic fatalities, easing congestion and reducing fuel consumption and therefore emissions.

"Lexus globally strives for mobility with zero fatalities and injuries from traffic accidents. To achieve this, we need advanced intelligent infrastructure safety technology, and the latest active and passive safety technology such as Lexus Safety System + to help avoid collisions and protect occupants.

"Advanced car-to-car and car-to-infrastructure technology will help reduce human trauma while improved traffic flow will support reductions in fuel use and vehicle emissions, including CO2.

"We can help the environment and at the same time make driving more enjoyable for everyone."

A close up of the roof mounted special equipment that enables vehicles to communicate with each other.

ITS Australia CEO Susan Harris congratulated Lexus Australia for the success of the project and its ability to collaborate with government and industry.

"The international recognition Lexus Australia has received is well-deserved; its work within the Ipswich Connected Vehicle Pilot is world-leading," she said.

"This project is an example of the Australian Intelligent Transport Systems industry supporting the evolution and deployment of life-saving technologies that will make our roads safer in the years to come.

"Lexus has demonstrated the tremendous outcomes that can be achieved here in Australia through effective collaborations between industry and government."

The two-year trial saw the two RX 450h vehicles cover a total of 8,550km, sending out over 10 million messages to infrastructure and other participating vehicles.

Two million messages were received from the other 350 participating vehicles, while a further 1.2 million came from infrastructure such as traffic lights.

The interior of the Lexus RX 450h, with a smart phone mounted on the dash showing data from the roof mounted equiptment.

Following the trial, two-thirds of participants told researchers it was important to have connected technology fitted in their next vehicle, and that the addition of features such as advanced red-light warnings and speed-limit information would be beneficial to achieving better road safety outcomes.

Aside from the award-winning Queensland trial, Lexus Australia has conducted two additional C-ITS trials in Victoria, including a groundbreaking 18-month Australian Integrated Multimodal EcoSystem (AIMES) trial in Melbourne that is now reaching conclusion.

In an Australian first, the trial also utilised two specially fitted RX 450h vehicles capable of communicating with trams and emergency services vehicles to issue warnings to drivers and alerts for potential dangers, including pedestrians getting on and off trams.

ITS Australia is the peak body for advanced transport technology in Australia, having partnered with government, industry and academia over the last 30 years to help shape the future of transport.

Working on behalf of over 145 member organisations to promote the development and deployment of new safety technologies, ITS Australia is an independent non-profit organisation affiliated with peak ITS bodies around the world.

NX 450h+
LEXUS NX 450h+

Overseas model shown. Australian specifications & features may differ. See your Lexus dealer for details.

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