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Automated Road Condition Information System to Debut in May

Date Posted: 2000-03-17

A system capable of telling drivers about road conditions ahead, and thus enable them to avoid or get around congested areas, will debut in Okinawa this coming May.

Okinawa Prefecture General Bureau and Okinawa Prefecture Police have set up a Traffic Information Center to operate the electronic system that will gather information from various checkpoints. The data is then relayed to drivers through FM-based data links. The drivers need a car navigation system in their cars in order to be able to receive the signals. The navigation systems must have a so called VICS tuner installed. The service itself is free.

According to officials at the Ministry of Transportation, an estimated 1,620,000 vehicles nationwide are currently using the system. The first roads to be installed with the required sensors and other equipment are the Okinawa Expressway and Highway 58.

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