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Pre-Collision Systems are a proven method of not only reducing accidents but of limiting the severity of injuries should a crash occur. Current systems like Volvo’s City Safety will apply brakes if an impact is inevitable.
Looking to rebrand itself as a safety leader, Toyota has just announced its own PCS that goes a step further, taking over control of the steering in order to avoid a collision. It works by using millimeter-wave radar, cameras and even infrared detection at night to detect vehicles and pedestrians, and when combined with a new Lane Departure Prevention system can “change the direction of the vehicle” to help avoid a collision.
Two other systems being developed simultaneously include an Adaptive Driving Beam system and a Pop-up Hood. A previous version switched high beams to low beams when it detected the taillights of a vehicle ahead or the headlights of an oncoming car. The latest advancement allows the high beams to stay on, but blocks a portion of the light that would interfere with the vision of oncoming traffic, allowing near high-beam visibility without blinding oncoming traffic. As for the pop-up hood, it is designed to reduce injuries in collisions with pedestrians.
Finally, in response to an aging population, Toyota has announced a new Emergency-response Technology, which allows the car to monitor the driver’s vital sign through touch points at the steering wheel, in order to detect a possible loss of consciousness due to “cardiovascular irregularity.” Still under development, Toyota aims to showcase this new technology at the Japan Medical Congress next April.