Toyota’s luxury arm will make its Lexus Safety System+ standard on all future models, the automaker announced on Wednesday, a move it said could prevent many crashes and reduce the severity of others.
The move comes a week after sibling brand Toyota announced it will introduce two all-new safety features on its 2020 line-up, including one system designed to prevent potentially deadly vehicle rollaways.
The industry, as a whole, has begun integrating new advanced driver assistance systems on more and more vehicles, often as standard features. That is expected to save thousands of lives and prevent even more injuries, according to safety advocates.
(New Toyota safety tech could prevent rollaways. Click Here for more.)
There were 4.5 million motor vehicles crashes in the U.S. in 2017, according to the most recent data published by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Where the first wave of safety gear, such as seatbelts and airbags, were designed to reduce the likelihood of injuries when a collision occurs, the latest generation of technologies, such as forward collision warning and automatic emergency braking, move the ball forward.
“We are working toward preventing crashes before they happen,” said David Christ, group vice president and general manager, Lexus Division. “That’s why we have developed some of the most advanced safety features on the road today, and now those systems will be standard equipment on every model we sell.”
There are four key technologies in the Lexus Safety System+:
- What Lexus calls Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection can recognize when the vehicle may hit another car or a pedestrian. It then both audible and visual alerts and, if the driver doesn’t respond, it automatically applies the brakes. Even if a collision occurs, the system can reduce its severity;
- Lane Departure Alert recognizes when the vehicle inadvertently swerves out of its lane at speeds over 32 mph using a camera that can detect road markings. If that happens it sounds an alert;
- Intelligent High Beams allow a driver to keep the brights on at all times. If those cameras detect oncoming headlights or the taillights of vehicles ahead, it automatically dims the lamps; and
- Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, which allows a driver to set a desired speed but then automatically adjusts it according to the traffic flow.
There are several other safety systems not included in the LSS+ package, such as blind spot detection. These will be available as standard gear on same Lexus products and as options on others.
(Click Here for a look at the updated 2020 Lexus RX line-up.)
The automaker joins a growing list of manufacturers, including luxury brands like Mercedes-Benz, as well as mainstream marques like Subaru, including some ADAS technologies as standard fare.
Toyota, the mainstream sibling of Lexus, not only is including some ADAS technologies on 2020 models, but introducing several new feature, such as Automatic Engine Shut-Off and Automatic Park. The latter system will be added to vehicles with electronic brakes or shifters. The brakes will be applied and the vehicles shifted into Park automatically, if the driver hasn’t done so already before exiting the vehicle. That is expected to reduce the possibility of rollaway incidents.
(This new Lexus offering is ready for both the track and the street. Click Here for a look at the Lexus RC F Track.)