Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/07/22/toyota_car_steers_around_accident/

Toyota tech to steer cars round jaywalkers

'These aren't accidents. They're throwing themselves into the road gladly.'

By Tony Smith

Posted in Science, 22nd July 2011 15:41 GMT

Toyota has taken automatic collision-avoidance a step further by allowing a car to steer itself around an obstacle if it can't slow down in time.

The Japanese car maker has been showing off the prang-prevention tech at its West Tokyo test facility, AP reports.

The Toyota tech uses a millimetre wave scanning system and regular cameras to spot traffic-oblivious pedestrians stepping out into the road in front of your vehicle.

The system almost instantaneously works out whether the safe application of the brakes will stop you in time to prevent a prang. If not, it will take control of the steering and move you out of the way.

Of course, trialling the technology with dummies on empty test tracks is one thing - using it on a busy road with either oncoming vehicles is something else.

Let's hope Toyota has planned for this and the system doesn't veer you round a pedestrian only to put you nose to nose with another car coming the other way.

And that it has rear sensors too so you don't pull out just as some fellow's overtaking. We've all seen it happen.

Toyota also showed off a cardiographic steering wheel that detects if the driver is having a coronary. Does it, we wonder, tap into the satnav to auto-drive the patient to the nearest hospital? ®