New technology from Toyota can monitor the driver's health and help to steer cars around obstacles to avoid collisions.
Older people and pedestrians are the focus of the latest developments, because in Japan alone, half of all road traffic deaths are of people aged 65 or over, and pedestrians account for more fatalities than vehicle occupants.
Pre-Crash Safety is already available on some Toyota models. Radar and a camera are used to scan the road ahead. If the system predicts a collision, it prepares the cars settings, such as seatbelts and airbags, to reduce damage and minimise injuries.
The new development will enable the car to actively avoid a collision, even if the driver fails to apply the brakes. The system will not only operate the brakes, but a it will steer the car out of trouble, too. The system will judge collision risks by monitoring obstacles and approaching vehicles, and change the course of the vehicle to help avoid an accident.
Emergency Response Technology
Heart attacks or black-outs can cause drivers to collapse at the wheel, resulting in serious accidents. Toyota has developed a system that can monitor cardio-vascular function through the drivers grip on the steering wheel and help detect any developing problems. Further research is planned, with a view to bringing the system to market.
Adaptive Driving Beam
Toyota has improved the automatic high-beam function that has been available on some models for two years, with a new Adaptive Driving Beam (ADB). The system partially shields the high-beam light so that it doesnt shine in the faces of drivers ahead, but maintains near high-beam illumination on the road.
Toyota has also developed a pop-up bonnet to reduce the risk of injuries to pedestrians. The bonnet automatically rises to create a gap between the soft bonnet and the hard engine components when sensors detect an impact.