Toyota is taking a full frontal attack on car accidents. Among the many advanced safety features Toyota is currently developing are: a pop-up hood designed to significantly reduce the impact when a car hits a pedestrian; light-blocking technology aimed at shielding drivers from the blindingly bright high beam lights of oncoming traffic; and a heart-attack-sensing steering wheel. The feature we want to discuss today, however, is one which Toyota recently demonstrated at a media event in Japan: a new crash-avoidance technology.
The innovative pre-collision steering technology literally, and automatically steers drivers clear of imminent accidents for which there isn't enough time to brake (i.e., cars that stop short, animals, and perhaps most importantly pedestrians). Necessary braking and steering adjustments are calculated and enforced using a suite of leading-edge technologies, including: cameras, millimeter-wave radar, and in-car microprocessors.
What prompted Toyota to develop their new pre-collision steering technology? The extreme number of pedestrians struck by automobiles per year. In the little digging we did to find stats demonstrating just how commonplace such accidents are, we found that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) documented over 4,000 pedestrians were struck in the U.S, in 2009 alone. Another study performed in the Washington, D.C. area evidences that more accidents involve pedestrians in the District's crosswalks than other vehicles in the streets.
There is, of course, also the fact that developing such technologies will hone Toyota's competitive edge, putting them on more even ground with on Scandinavian competitor renowned for their safety advancements. We don't really have to mention their name do we?...They identify themselves with the Mars symbol.
While Toyota's accident-avoidance technology is still in development, Motorcars Toyota, suspects it won't be long before the Japanese automaker begins to integrate it into production models. Of course, we'll let you know as soon as Toyota announces an official ETA. And, if you're interested in learning about Toyota's current suite of safety technologies, please contact us today.