At the 2016 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS), Toyota has announced that its fuel cell based research vehicle, Mirai, would now come with satellite communications technology. US-based flat-panel antenna technology provider, Kymeta, would embed an antenna in the car to support satellite distribution of huge amounts of data to a vehicle. This antenna’s software-controlled beam bending and steering capabilities can track satellites in moving vehicles. Kymeta technology is being designed to deliver a terabyte of data per month into autonomous cars. This would allow Toyota to update its 3D map data and software easily. The carmaker plans to install a Data Communication Module into a broader range of its vehicles.
Shigeki Tomoyama, Senior Managing Officer of Toyota Motor Corporation, says, “Toyota has investigated satellite technology for many years. It offers several important benefits for vehicle communications. First, satellite has a global and stable coverage area. Second, it can transmit huge amounts of data. Third, it can provide stable communications in case of an emergency or natural disaster. I hope you can see how exciting this new technology is, and what it could mean for the future of connected vehicles.”