Enhanced Safety Needed Quickly, Toyota Exec Says

Source: Automotive News

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. — Toyota will deploy an updated safety suite, called Toyota Safety System 2.0, next year to further improve the collision avoidance and driver assistance suite that it has made standard in its products in the U.S.

Toyota — which has already made its safety suite standard across its lineup for both its eponymous brand as well as Lexus — has developed a simple mantra to keep its drivers and their passengers safer on the roadways:

“Don’t hit anything. Don’t get hit. Don’t run off the road,” Wayne Powell, vice president of the Electronic Systems Division at Toyota Motor North America Research & Development, said at the 2019 CAR Management Briefing Seminars on Tuesday.

Current onboard safety systems such as automated emergency braking are already cutting down on collisions, but enhancements that further improve automotive safety should be rolled out as quickly as possible to save lives, he told the industry audience.

“We have a moral obligation to deploy to save lives as soon as we can,” said Powell, who is responsible for driver-assist systems development and applications, vehicle cockpit electronics development and evaluation, and vehicle wiring systems development.

Toyota Safety Sense 2.0 will help keep drivers in their lane, and will enhance safety in nighttime and low-light conditions, Powell said. Toyota is working on two complementary strategies to improve safety through enhanced driver-assist systems, Guardian and Chauffeur.

Chauffeur is a down-the-road Level 5 autonomous system, while Guardian is a technology suite that allows the vehicle to “team up” with the driver for improved safety.

Powell showed an example of a vehicle emerging suddenly between parked cars, with the Toyota vehicle initiating a lane change to avoid a collision.

Powell said interim steps such as Guardian are important not only for their enhanced safety, but also as a way to develop more acceptance of the advanced technology with the public.

“A big element of acceptance is trust,” Powell said.

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