Toyota: Active safety for all
TOKYO -- Toyota Motor Corp. will step closer to autonomous vehicles when it begins rolling out a range of advanced active safety systems across its mass-market lineup in early 2015. The new or re-engineered technologies encompass more sophisticated precrash braking packages, an improved auto-parking feature, a next-generation auto-adjust headlamp and a vehicle-to-infrastructure and vehicle-to-vehicle communication system. The auto-parking and vehicle-to-vehicle communication systems will debut in Japan and migrate to other markets, including the U.S. Other technologies, including two new precrash braking packages, will be released in the U.S. as early as next year.
Yoshida: Swift improvements
Pricing wasn't disclosed, but the goal is to introduce affordable technologies in mass-volume nameplates, said Moritaka Yoshida, Toyota's chief safety technology officer. He said automakers have reached a point of diminishing returns from improvements in passive systems such as seat belts. Faster gains will come from technologies that prevent crashes in the first place, he said. "There is a limit to reducing the number of fatalities through passive safety," Yoshida said. "We must also focus on active safety."
The two precrash safety packages are dubbed the Toyota Safety Sense C, for compact cars, and the Toyota Safety Sense P, for midsize and high-end vehicles. In Japan, C will debut next spring and P next summer. By 2017, both will be in use in most passenger-car nameplates and trim levels in the U.S., Europe and Japan, Toyota said, without saying which nameplates would be first. The systems will deliver better performance than active safety systems used in such premium models as the Lexus LS, but at roughly the same cost, Yoshida promised. Toyota expects to lower costs in part by using common parts across multiple high-volume vehicles. "When it comes to improvement in this area, it is moving very fast," Yoshida said. Toyota Safety Sense C, the precrash system for small cars, can automatically stop a car traveling at 19 mph before impact, and operates up to 50 mph. So at 50 mph, it can slow a car by 19 mph, dropping the speed at impact to 31 mph and thus softening a crash. Toyota Safety Sense P, the precrash system for bigger vehicles, can stop a car going 25 mph before impact with another vehicle, or trim 25 mph off higher speeds before a crash. Unlike Toyota Safety Sense C, it can detect pedestrians and avoid striking them at speeds up to 19 mph. Toyota's new auto-parking technology also launches next year. It builds on the company's Intelligence Clearance Sonar system, which is available outside Japan only in the Lexus NX. It enables self-parking in a wider range of difficult-to-park spaces.See-through View
It also uses a new approach, called "See-through View," that improves visibility of the vehicle's blind spots. Toyota's existing Panoramic View Monitor gives an overhead view from outside the car. See-through View gives a view from the driver's seat as if the vehicle itself were transparent, providing a more intuitive picture of potential hazards. Toyota's next-generation adaptive high-beam headlamp uses multiple independently controlled light-emitting diodes. The LEDs can be better controlled for more focused and nuanced illumination, without blinding oncoming drivers or pedestrians. Light is distributed based on the operation of the steering wheel. Toyota's current adaptive high-beam system uses only two light sources per headlamp. The new one uses 11 LEDs on each side. Toyota said it will be among the first carmakers to use vehicle-to-infrastructure and vehicle-to-vehicle communication systems in its cars, also starting next year. These technologies, while still in their infancy, are viewed as enablers of autonomous cars. For example, they allow vehicles to talk to stationary intelligent transportation system sensors at intersections, which warn of pedestrians and vehicles hidden by blind spots. These technologies will deploy first in Japan, where the government and auto industry have agreed on standardization of such items as the dedicated wireless bandwidth: 760 megahertz. A U.S. introduction date will depend on similar moves by U.S. regulators and carmakers, Toyota said. "These kinds of safety technologies are effective only when in wide use," Yoshida said. "So we are taking the first step."
You can reach Hans Greimel at [email protected] -- Follow Hans onRead Source
More news from this source:
CAR REVIEWS »
Top 10 Best Chevrolet Models of All Time
9 Unique Ways to Customize Your Car
How to Find the Best Tow Truck Companies
Shady Car Mechanic Tricks You’ve Never Known Before
How to Diagnose Severe Car Problems (Even When You Don’t Know Anything About Cars)
6 Effective Maintenance Tips for Car Headlights
7 Driving Techniques and Other Tips for Fuel Efficiency
5 Tips for Finding a Good Mechanic You Can Trust
Lifting a Truck Pros and Cons
View All Recent Posts
- More Photos