Toyota motors ahead with radar crash avoidance tech
Pre-collision system ready to roll out as test site begins operations
Japanese car giant Toyota is ready to roll out new radar-based collision avoidance technology which could soon see certain high speed crashes a thing of the past.
The firm’s Pre-collision System (PCS) uses millimeter-wave radar signals to alert the driver by visual display and warning sound when there is a risk of crashing into the car in front.
If the driver brakes in time the system will increase the braking force by up to twice that normally applied, Toyota said.
However, if the driver ignores the warning then the system will take over and automatically decelerate by 15-30km/h.
Citing Japan’s Institute for Traffic Accident Research and Data Analysis (ITARDA), Toyota said that 90 per cent of rear-end smashes occur when the difference in speed between the two cars is within 60km/h.
The PCS, designed using real-world traffic accident data, is part of Toyota’s Integrated Safety Management initiative launched in 2006 with the aim of ultimately reducing road traffic fatalities involving Toyota cars to zero.
As its research become a reality, Toyota will rely heavily on the newly built Intelligent Transport System (ITS) Test Site in the shadow of Mount Fuji, Shizuoka Prefecture, which began full-scale operations on Monday.
The 3.5 hectare site is fitted with road-side sensors and transmitters designed to help drivers avoid running red lights or hitting pedestrians, and to better detect cars in blind spots.
The road-to-vehicle, vehicle-to-vehicle and pedestrian-to-vehicle information networks Toyota is testing at the centre form the backbone of the ITS and run on the 700MHz band, which was allocated to the car-maker by the Japanese government.
Toyota said the PCS is ready to roll-out with “soon-to-be-launched” models, but given that the ITS requires significant road-side infrastructure to work effectively it will likely remain on the test ground for some time to come. ®
Re: Given Toyota's previous experience with failing brake systems in the USA ...
I recall (heh) that much (roughly 2/3rds) of the issues regarding Toyota's "unintended acceleration" recalls involved people who didn't realise the floormat had been pushed forward by their feet. The other issue was a sticking throttle pedal - nothing, whatsoever, to do with the braking system. The only brake issue they've had was with ABS software for the Prius - regenerative braking was delayed momentarily if you hit a bump under brakes. It didn't involve the unintended acceleration lawsuit and TBH you don't strike me as the Prius driving type.
It's not entirely dissimilar to the "unintended acceleration" lawsuits involving Audi back in the 80's - but back then it turned out that people were slamming their foot down on the accelerator thinking it was the brake (not exactly sure how, I think stupidity had a lot to do with it). Considering Americans' history with inability to put their foot on a brake pedal I think this type of tech is not just a good idea, I think it's borderline necessary.
by the way - seatbelts aren't just a good idea for when you hit *someone else*, they're also capable of protecting you when *someone else* hits you. I've never put a point on my licence, and apart from a couple of fender scrapes, never been in an at fault accident (and never had to make an insurance claim). But that doesn't stop some moron in an audi ploughing into me because "the brake pedal looked kinda funny".
Given Toyota's previous experience with failing brake systems in the USA ...
I wonder if they should be tinkering with them.
Automation applied to road vehicles can be dangerous in certain situations.
Having driven in weather extremes in Northern Canada (Yukon and Ontario) certain types of precipitation an fool (trick) automatic systems and create situations that are unsafe that might not have without the system.
And what of the system mouse trails? Will they leave evidence in memory that can be used to prosecute the driver as is the case with seat belt triggers in North America? The Ontario Provincial Police regularly seize these modules to determine a drivers actions prior to a seat belt trigger. I removed mine from my SUV in Ontario so the OPP's Sgt. Cam Woolley types are unable to use them,.
P.S. My last 'at fault' accident was over 26 years ago, n case some do-gooder objects.
And what if...
... not everything on the road is a car?
Will it detect people/horses/trees?
Will it recognise a corner and the associated barrier?
Will drivers just rely on it and therefore ignore anything not wrapped in a steel cage which is easy to detect with mm wave radar?
Get the cars driving themselves, stop faffing with silly add ons.