Toyota has announced a new partnership with Weathernews that’ll involve its connected cars, specifically their windshield wiper data. By using this information and pairing it with existing weather data, Toyota aims to improve the accuracy of weather forecasts and help improve safety for drivers. The test is being conducted in Aichi, Tokyo, and Osaka.
A ‘verification test’ between the two companies kicked off on November 1, according to Toyota, which says data on the operation status of connected cars’ windshield wipers will be contrasted with weather information for the same area. Simply put, Toyota is keeping an eye on when windshield wipers are being used because that typically indicates that it is raining.
Though radar can be used to generally detect the weather, there may be instances of isolated rain showers in areas that can’t be picked up by traditional technology. By focusing on when windshield wipers are in operation, it may be possible to refine weather news and forecasts for areas, at least when it comes to rain showers.
Weathernews, meanwhile, is a weather service that gathers around 180,000 weather reports from users every day, using it to build upon data from thousands of locations in its weather observation network. By doing this, the company is able to offer weather forecasts with a high level of accuracy, something that may be boosted by factoring in the car wiper data.
Toyota doesn’t say how long it plans to conduct this test with Weathernews, nor whether it plans to expand it to other regions in the future. The test does highlight another potential use for the growing number of connected gadgets, joining existing examples of crowdsourced data that is used for things like identifying traffic jams and road accidents.