More immediate traffic information will mean burning less fuel. That's the theory behind a program Nissan Motor Co. will pilot in northern Japan and China next year. The company may also try the plan in the United States.
Traffic data will be collected passively by Nissan "probe" vehicles that have been fitted with transmitters. A central collection network will detect when and where those vehicles are driving slower than normal and broadcast the information back to Nissan cars' navigation systems. Once alerted, Nissan believes, drivers will be able to steer around trouble spots to avoid both headaches and unnecessary fuel consumption.