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Toyota's new safety systems

Posted On Wed, August 10, 2011

Toyota recently announced a number of new safety systems that it will work on incorporating into future vehicle models. The systems are primarily intended to reduce fatalities from accidents involving people over the age 65 and pedestrians.

Many Toyotas already have a pre-crash safety (PCS) system, but a new one aimed at addressing rear-end collisions, pedestrian accidents and avoiding collisions is under development. It uses millimeter-wave radar, as well as stereo cameras, to detect nearby pedestrians and vehicles, and near-infrared beams will be used to improve nighttime visibility.

The adaptive driving beam (ADB) currently under development will partially shield the high beam lights in order to prevent blinding other drivers and pedestrians. The system will not inhibit the visibility of the driver.

Toyota is also working on a pop-up system for vehicle hoods. Head trauma from striking the hood is one of the most dangerous aspects of collisions involving pedestrians, and the pop-up hood will raise the rear of the hood in a collision to help dampen the contact.

The emergency-response system will monitor cardiovascular functions of drivers through the steering wheel, and will detect any sudden irregularities.

All of these systems will potentially reduce the fatal crash rates in the United States and help lower auto insurance quotes. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that in 2009, 4,092 pedestrians died in car accidents and 16 percent of all traffic fatalities in the nation were among people 65 years and older. 

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