Advanced safety features have long been either standard on high-end models or step-up options on the various trim levels offered by automakers. As technology brings the cost of advanced “driver assists” down, we’re seeing more cars with active safety systems. And now Toyota has promised to bring active safety to as many of their 2015 models as possible via the automaker’s volume models.
In explaining Toyota’s strategy, Moritaka Yoshida, Toyota’s chief safety technology officer, said “The goal is to introduce affordable technologies in mass-volume nameplates,” which will help Toyota achieve a scale that will mitigate the cost of active safety across a majority of its 2015 lineup. He also pointed out that 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.”
Rather than develop active braking systems by vehicle class or trim level, Toyota has developed them by vehicle weight and length. The company’s “Safety Sense” systems are designed to account for the moving mass differences between smaller and larger vehicles. Thus the systems engage to slow the larger vehicles at different rate than the smaller vehicles. The large vehicle system, Toyota Safety Sense P, can also detect and avoid pedestrians at up to 19 mph. Improved self parking, next generation blind spot detection and advanced adaptive headlight technologies are also being included across a wider range of Toyota models, according to the company.
Toyota also announced that it will become one of the first automakers to incorporate vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) and vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) communications systems, most likely beginning in the 2016 model year. Initial deployment will be in Japan as automakers and regulators there have already determined V2V and V2I communication bandwidth and frequency standards. General Motors recently said it will make V2V available in its Cadillac vehicles by the 2017 model year.
In addition to keeping more drivers safe, we believe this move by Toyota will lead the way for the auto industry to make advanced safety technologies available to more than just those who can afford a higher class of vehicle. And by committing to V2V and V2I deployment, Toyota is finally bringing the full promise of the connected car to market.
Source: Toyota: Active safety for all – Automotive News