Toyota has come up with two new advanced safety features at the 2012 Safety Technology Seminar. Soon to be featured in Toyota production vehicles, these technologies include Intelligent Clearance Sonar and Drive-start Control that reduces common parking-speed collisions, and a Collision Avoidance Assist that prevents high-speed rear-end shunts.
The first one, the Clearance Sonar thing, appears to be very useful for idiots who mix up pedals. No seriously, Toyota says hitting the wrong pedal or selecting the wrong gear, particularly when parking. Using radars and sensors, it detect obstacles that are outside the driver’s line of sight, and intervene if needed. The system will sound an alarm, reduce engine power and apply the brakes.
Meanwhile the Drive-Start Control monitors the selected gear and will flash up a warning and reduce engine output to limit a sudden start or acceleration if it thinks you are doing it wrong.
The new collision avoidance system, part of Toyota’s Pre-Crash package, is more sophisticated. It uses a millimetre-wave radar to monitor the risk of collision with a vehicle ahead, and again, will apply the brakes for you – with the proper amount of force – after flashing warnings and making sounds.
Also at the seminar, Toyota announced opening of a new proving ground to test and evaluate its Intelligent Transport System technology. The site extends over 3.5 hectares at the Higashi-Fuji Technical Centre, creating a simulated city centre road system, complete with traffic signals.