Toyota Motor: Collecting Driving Environmental Image Data Through On-Board Cameras

Driving environmental image data collection via on-board camerasInitiatives to achieve a safe mobility society

Toyota collects driving environment image data (hereinafter referred to as “non-car image data”) through in-vehicle cameras mounted on test vehicles and certain customers’ vehicles. Toyota will use the images to develop safer vehicles and systems, as well as services that improve transport infrastructure with the aim of contributing to the realization of a safer and more convenient mobility society.

Some may wonder: “Will I also be filmed?” or “What will the image data be used for?” and “Is my privacy protected?” with respect to Toyota’s collection of out-of-car image data. This section outlines our philosophy regarding the data collected, the use of non-car image data, and our efforts to protect personal information and respect privacy.

The Toyota Philosophy―Safe and Free Traffic for All

Our ultimate goal is zero road fatalities. To achieve this, in addition to developing safer vehicles, it is essential to educate people, namely drivers and pedestrians, and to ensure the safety of traffic infrastructure such as roads and traffic equipment. Toyota promotes an “integrated three-pronged initiative”, involving people, vehicles and the traffic environment, to realize a safe mobility society.

The out-of-car image data includes information about the road and traffic environments where customers actually drive their vehicles. This information cannot be obtained on the test tracks. By learning about real-world road and traffic environments, Toyota can accelerate the development of safer vehicles and systems suited to those real-world conditions. Toyota can also lead initiatives to help make society more convenient and safer, through the development of services that help improve transportation infrastructure.

Toyota will collect and use out-of-car image data to achieve a safe mobility society while disclosing appropriate information to the public. The purpose of use, situations and locations will differ depending on the vehicle from which the off-car image data was collected and the intended implementation of the project. Please refer to the following for more details about the purpose of use of each and the timing of non-car image data collection.

Out-of-car image data collected from test vehicles (to be released at a later date) FOT

Image data on unsupported care collected in various demonstration tests (to be published later) Translog

Non-car image data collected from certain customers’ vehicles in the Japanese market

Off-car image data to collect

Example of off-car image data to collect (Collected in an environment different from the actual acquisition conditions)

Toyota only collects out-of-car image data in a video format when certain requirements are met by vehicle models equipped with advanced driver assistance systems (Toyota Teammate and Lexus Teammate) and advanced safety systems (Toyota Safety Sense and Lexus Safety System +). Out-of-car image data is recorded in the vehicle when a specific situation occurs and transmitted via the on-board communication unit (DCM*) to the Toyota server.

*Data communication module

Conditions for recording non-car image data to be collected

  1. When a certain level of conflict or a situation close to a conflict arises (from a few minutes to about two minutes before or after)

  2. When the vehicle is driven on a road in a particular traffic environment (including traffic jams, bad roads and bad weather)

  3. When the vehicle is driven on a particular type of road (including newly opened roads or widened roads)

  4. After a predetermined time after engine start (for a few seconds before and after)

(We will only collect out-of-car image data in 1 and 4 of the above situations from vehicles equipped with Advanced Drive.)

Purpose of use

We will collect and use off-car image data for the following purposes.

  • R&D for autonomous driving, advanced safety, and mapping-related technologies (including technology, product development, and quality improvement)

  • Provision of products and services using out-of-car image data (including analysis of driving conditions for safe driving advice and analysis of driving environments to provide crash information objects, road damage)

  • Distribution of traffic conditions, provision of maps for automated driving and advanced safety systems, etc.

In addition, we plan to launch services that will allow customers using the target vehicle to use out-of-car image data recorded on their own vehicle.

Supply to a third party

Off-car image data collected from advanced driver assistance systems and advanced safety systems may be provided outside of the Company only in the following cases

  1. Using data to solve social problems and improve transport infrastructure

    • For the purposes of R&D (including technology, product development and quality improvement) for autonomous driving, advanced safety systems and mapping-related technologies, when provided to third parties or to subcontractors, such as companies related to automated driving software (including joint research partners)

    • Supply to a third party, such as a mapping company or our sub-contractor for R&D purposes for mapping-related technology

    • Supply to a third party, such as local government, for road improvement purposes

    • When providing services to applicants for individual services such as traffic status distribution

In these cases, we will establish contracts with suppliers for appropriate data management, confirm security measures and management and regularly manage the processing status. In addition, we will apply data anonymization by processing and tiling (removal of certain off-vehicle image data, if necessary) where possible based on the intended purpose.

  1. In the event of an enforceable legal request by the police, courts or other government agencies

  2. Based on demand from customers using a target vehicle (customers who have subscribed to a communication service contract (T-Connect/G-Link) for the target vehicle)

Protection of personal information and respect for privacy

The off-car image data may include people walking on a walkway or the side of the road, or the license plate of a vehicle driving ahead or in adjacent lanes. Toyota treats this out-of-vehicle image data as personal information in accordance with the Personal Information Protection Act and other related laws. We are also implementing initiatives to respect the privacy of those filmed.

In order to protect personal information and respect the privacy of individuals captured by the camera, Toyota will take the following steps, communicating with experts outside the company and government agencies

  • Disclose appropriate information regarding out-of-car image data processing in a timely manner (on this website)

  • Restrict access to off-car image data and access log management

  • Storage in a format that does not allow searching for a specific individual or vehicle in the non-car image data

  • Prohibit tracking of specific individuals and vehicles included in out-of-car image data, and analysis of behavioral characteristics and travel patterns

  • Anonymization of data by processing and slicing into mosaics, depending on the purpose of the data provided outside the company

We will continue to strive to provide enough explanations and answers so that our initiatives are understood by those who may be caught on camera.


Toyota Motor Corporation published this content on May 30, 2022 and is solely responsible for the information contained therein. Distributed by Public, unedited and unmodified, on May 30, 2022 12:18:09 UTC.

Public now 2022


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