Toyota Focuses On Technologies For Safer Driving

August 5, 2011

Vehicle safety technology is a primary consideration for family buyers, actually for any driver and passenger in the family, including the elderly and children.

Depending on manufacturer, make and model, the kinds and types of safety technology standard or available run a wide gamut.

Now, Toyota reveals four of its latest safety technologies currently in development. The Japanese automaker is concentrating its efforts toward safer driving, with a special focus on protecting older drivers as well as pedestrians.

Pre-Crash Safety (PCS) system with collision-avoidance assist. Working to eliminate vehicle crashes before they happen, Toyota has developed the pre-crash safety (PCS) with collision-avoidance assist. This safety technology, like similar technologies from Volvo and Mercedes-Benz, uses millimeter-wave radar and a miniature camera to continuously monitor the road ahead. If the system senses a crash is imminent and if the driver fails to apply the brakes, the system automatically applies the brakes. A key difference in the Toyota system that is under development, however, is that if the system detects a clear path, either to the left or right side of the vehicle, it will use steering and braking in order to avoid a collision.

Adaptive driving beam. After introducing an automatic high beam function on some of its vehicles two years ago, Toyota has now improved the technology with an adaptive driving beam. Whereas the previous system simply switched headlights to low beam when a camera detected taillights of vehicles ahead or headlights of oncoming traffic and the restored high beam when the road cleared, the adaptive driving beam partially shields the high beam light to prevent it from shining directly in drivers’ faces of ahead. Toyota says the improved system helps prevent glare while maintaining near-high beam illumination of the road, thus reducing accident risk.

Toyota's heart monitor sensor

Toyota's heart monitor sensor

Enlarge Photo

Heart-rate monitor via steering wheel grip. If this system currently being developed by Toyota sounds a lot like the one Ford is working on, there are similarities. In essence, both use sensors embedded in the steering wheel to monitor the driver’s heart rate. If the system detects a sudden cardiovascular change, something that might precipitate a heart attack or a blackout, the system can alert police of the possibility of a medical emergency.

Pop-up hood. The automaker has developed a new pop-up hood that can reduce risk of head injury in a frontal collision with a pedestrian. Toyota raised the back of the hood and increased the distance between the hood and the vehicle’s engine.

To support its ongoing testing, Toyota has set up the Collaborative Safety Research Center in the United States and will be working with American universities, research organizations and hospitals.


[Toyota via All Car Tech]

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