Crash avoidance technology is nothing new. Automakers such as Mercedes-Benz and Volvo have already implemented collision-avoidance systems on select vehicles, such as the system used on Volvo’s XC60, which recently garnered praise from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
Toyota may be late to the party, but it’s not content to copy systems developed by others. Instead, Toyota is developing technology that will both slow the car and steer it away from an impact with another vehicle or pedestrian.
Toyota’s system uses both cameras and sensitive “millimeter-wave” radar to detect objects in the vehicle’s path. It then calculates the amount of both braking and steering necessary to avoid a collision. If steering away from a pending crash is an option, the system takes control of the vehicle’s steering and executes an avoidance maneuver.
Safety is a key focus at Toyota, and the manufacturer has defined an idealized goal of zero injuries and zero fatalities. Other safety systems under development at Toyota include a pop-up hood, which will protect pedestrians in the event of a vehicle-pedestrian impact, and shaded high-beams, which reduce glare from high beam lights for oncoming traffic.
Toyota isn’t saying when its collision-avoidance system will be available, or which markets it will enter first. The company did hint that the technology was mature, possibly indicating that it would be implemented in the near future.