More car manufacturers are including advanced active safety features across their lineups, and the world’s largest automaker is no exception. In a recent press release, Toyota stated that beginning in 2018, its Safety Sense technology will be standard on almost every Toyota trim level in the U.S. This feature is designed to mitigate and help prevent collisions.
The most advanced version of Safety Sense, TSS-P, won the New England Motor Press Association (NEMPA) Yankee Cup Technology Award last week. The NEMPA Yankee Cup is awarded each year to a vehicle, automotive feature, or system that “significantly enhances the motoring experience, whether by making driving safer, more cost-efficient, or simply more enjoyable.”
The award was presented at NEMPA’s sixth annual conference and banquet, which was held at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Media Lab in Cambridge. In addition to Toyota’s TSS-P technology, the RAV4 Hybrid and Toyota Tacoma won Winter Vehicle Awards in the Green Crossover and Midsize/Compact Pickup Truck categories.
TSS-P uses an in-vehicle camera and front-grille-mounted millimeter-wave radar to enhance the driving experience by detecting obstacles and automatically applying the brakes if an imminent collision is detected.
The safety suite includes four features. The Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection function prompts the driver via audio and visual alerts to take action and apply the brakes if the system detects the possibility of a frontal collision. The system itself will supplement the driver by applying the brakes on its own with Brake Assist, but it can also take initiative itself if need be. The in-vehicle camera looks out for pedestrians using a formula based on size, profile, and motion.
By analyzing lane markings, the system can detect when the vehicle is deviating from its lane. If this occurs, the Lane Departure Alert kicks in, giving the driver audio and visual cues to fix the problem. The Steering Assist function can help out by applying small, corrective steering inputs.
Dynamic Radar Cruise Control adjusts vehicle speed to maintain a set distance from the vehicle ahead. If that vehicle slows down, the system can decelerate to maintain distance. If the vehicle speeds up or there is no vehicle there at all, the system will accelerate until the preset speed is reached.
The Automatic High Beams feature detects the headlights of oncoming vehicles as well as the taillights of preceding vehicles and automatically switches between high and low beams.