Safer vehicles and the elimination of road accident injuries and deaths were the themes behind Toyota 2012 Safety Seminar in Japan. The automaker revealed details of its new technologies to help prevent collisions in low-speed parking accidents and high-speed rear-end shunts.Toyota has also launched its new proving ground for testing its Integrated Transport Systems (ITS).INTELLIGENT CLEARANCE SONARMany collisions are caused by driver error such as selecting the wrong gear, particularly when parking. Toyota has come up with two new systems to mitigate driver error.The Intelligent Clearance Sonar (ICS) is able to detect obstacles outside of driver’s line of sight and will automatically apply the brakes if there is a risk of a collision. The ICS will sound an alarm, reduce engine power and apply the brakes.Drive-Start Control is able to detect if the incorrect gear has been selected when applying the throttle. It will flash a warning and reduce engine output to limit acceleration.This can help, for example, when a driver reacts to hitting an object while reversing by making a quick shift to a forward gear while still pressing the accelerator pedal.PRE-CRASH SAFETY SYSTEMToyota has further developed its Pre-Crash Safety (PCS) system with a collision avoidance function that can help reduce the consequences of rear-end impacts.The new PCS uses radar to monitor the risk of collision with a vehicle ahead. If it detects an impact risk, it triggers an alarm and to alert the driver to apply the brakes. When the brake pedal is pressed, the system will increase braking force. If the driver fails to step on the brakes, the system will automatically decelerate the vehicle.Toyota’s analysis of traffic accident data shows that more than 90% of rear-end collisions happen when the difference in speed between two vehicles is within 60km/h. INTELLIGENT TRANSPORT SYSTEMToyota's new ITS proving ground site extends over 3.5 hectares at the Higashi-Fuji Technical Centre in Japan. The site recreates a simulated city centre road system, complete with traffic signals.The centre allows Toyota to test its system for road-to-vehicle communications using a 700Mhz radio frequency in controlled but authentic traffic conditions. This transmission band has been approved by the Japanese government for use.