Toyota Developing Semi-Autonomous Driving, Advanced Safety Tech

By Matthew Askari | October 11, 2013
Toyota is the latest in a long line of automakers to announce it is developing semi-autonomous self-driving technologies that can aid drivers and potentially make the road a safer place. Taking a step forward in vehicle-to-vehicle communication, Toyota's Automated Highway Driving Assist uses a 700-MHz band to transmit acceleration and deceleration data from preceding vehicles so following vehicles can adjust their speed accordingly. Toyota calls this Cooperative-adaptive Cruise Control, and the systems works in harmony with a lane-keeping system called Lane Trace Control—the other half of Automated Highway Driving Assist—which keeps the car in an optimal place within the driver's lane. Toyota is expected to test its Automated Highway Driving Assist on the Shuto Expressway near Tokyo, Japan, starting October 15. Just this week fellow Japanese automaker Subaru announced it was planning an update to its lauded EyeSight safety system, which could debut on the 2015 Subaru Outback next year. We've played around with similar systems on luxury cars such as the 2014 Mercedes-Benz S-Class, but are surprised at how quickly the market is adapting these technologies for more accessibly priced vehicles.
Toyota also announced today that it is developing a pre-collision system that uses automatic steering in addition to increased pre-braking force and automatic braking to help prevent accidents with pedestrians. In situations where the driver is going too fast or a pedestrian suddenly steps into the vehicle's path, a dashboard sensor will alert the driver. If no action is taken, visual and audio cues are added, and the system is activated. In situations where it senses a collision is imminent and cannot be avoided by braking alone, the automated steering assist will steer the vehicle away from the pedestrian.
Toyota is hoping to make the system more affordable, and eventually available on a range of vehicles by 2015. Source: Toyota