Toyota has teamed up with Weathernews to start a verification test in Japan that will assess on-road weather conditions using wiper data.

The move aims to improve the safety of drivers in Japan, with trials currently being carried out in Tokyo, Osaka and Aichi.

Wiper data can be used to detect the presence of precipitation, which is said to play an integral role in driver safety.

Toyota cited a Metropolitan Expressway Company report that found the rate of accidents during rainy days to be four times higher than during sunny days.

The verification test will visualise the wiper operating status of Toyota’s connected vehicles as a map and evaluate the relationship between the wiper and weather data.

The wiper data, which is said to support the identification of precipitation undetected by standard raincloud radar, will then be compared with actual weather data.

According to Toyota, the wipers’ operating force will offer a clearer picture on the precipitation strength, providing an accurate detection of rainy areas.

The latest verification test is part of a joint research initiative by the two parties, intended at boosting the accuracy of weather forecasts by leveraging data from Toyota’s connected vehicles and Weathernews’ weather data.

Toyota said: “By using wiper data to accurately ascertain the conditions of roads and their surroundings, such as precipitation and actual precipitation strength, undetectable using radar, we aim to contribute to driver safety by issuing warnings to drivers according to the situation.”

The move coincides with the automaker’s full-scale launch of connected vehicles. All Toyota passenger cars are soon expected to be equipped with an on-board DCM (data communication module).