LHIGH-TECH FOR SAFETY: From 2015 Toyota will launch 'Safety Sense' technologies that will help to prevent or mitigate collisions. Image: Toyota
• Vehicle-to-vehicle communication
• Smarter, safer, more-efficient
• New adaptive LEDs
• New active safety packages
TOYOTA CITY, Japan - Toyota has revealed a range of high-tech vehicle crash-prevention technology.
Toyota’s "integrated safety management concept" is designed to work in concert to reduce the number of road crashes.
The features were announced at a safety seminar in Toyota City, Japan, set to launched in new models in 2015. Toyota is also creating "active safety" packages for various vehicles that will be available by the end of 2017.
CARS THAT SPEAK TO EACH OTHER
At a blind junction even the best vehicle-cameras and sensors can’t give a clear warning of hazards. Toyota has worked to eliminate the risk with new “vehicle-to-infrastructure and vehicle-to-vehicle communications” using a wireless frequency reserved for Integrated Traffic System (ITS) services.
For example, if you arrive at junction with no clear view, sensors will detect oncoming traffic or pedestrians and send the information to your car, what Toyota calls the “vehicle-to-infrastructure system”.
According to Toyota: “Vehicles approaching the intersection will signal their presence using the vehicle-to-vehicle link, activating visual and audio warnings when necessary to help prevent an accident.”
Toyota has developed a new radar cruise-control to make it easier for preceding and following vehicles to maintain safe following distances. It uses a “forward-facing millimetre-wave” radar to monitor the distance between vehicles ahead and behind, relative speeds and the acceleration/deceleration of the leading car.
Automakers are already using such systems with a consequent improvement in safety, congestion and fuel-efficiency
Toyota says it develops its ITS-compatible systems in collaboration with government bodies, agencies and private companies.
In 2013 Toyota participated in an ITS Green Safety public-private project to assess the social effects of such systems. It will also take part in the ITS Connect Promotion Consortium to support the development of environments for the smooth introduction of such systems and their widespread adoption.
ARRAY ADAPTIVE HIGH-BEAM
Toyota, already implementing auto high beam and adaptive lighting systems, is developing its next-generation system to deliver improved night-time illumination – its "array adaptive high-beam" using LEDs.
A similar system was launched recently by Mercedes-Benz on its CLS in South Africa.
The system uses multiple, independently controlled LEDs arranged in a single row. This gives wider illumination without dazzling drivers of oncoming or preceding vehicles. It can light up the gaps between vehicles ahead and those approaching, making it easier to spot pedestrians.
Light distribution is also linked to use of the steering wheel, giving better visibility as you turn into a bend.
Toyota’s new Safety Sense (details below) active safety package will include an auto high beam function.
ACTIVE SAFETY PACKAGES
From 2015, Toyota will launch a new set of active safety technologies designed to help prevent or mitigate collisions. Two Safety Sense packages will be launched, initially in Japan and subsequently in the USA and Europe, by the end of 2017.
The two packages, designated C and P for mid-size and larger vehicles respectively, use several of Toyota’s existing active safety technologies, including its pre-crash safety system, lane keep assist and auto high beam.
The C package uses a laser radar and the P package a millimetre-wave radar, each combined with a camera to secure high performance and reliability.
A separate active safety package, Lexus Safety System+, will be marketed for Lexus models, including a new road sign assist function. It recognises speed limits and road signs when travelling overseas, presenting the information on the driver’s instrument display.