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Toyota's Upcoming Safety Technology Keeps the Pedestrian Top of Mind

Last updated Wednesday, October 30, 2013 09:00 ET

Upgraded Pre-Collision System Steers Cars Away from Those in Danger

Baltimore, USA, 10/30/2013 / SubmitMyPR /

Car accidents involving pedestrians make up a large portion of urban road fatalities, but Toyota is developing a new technology that could dramatically reduce pedestrian deaths. By adding steer assist to its updated Pre-Collision System (PCS), Toyota will give its vehicles the ability to automatically swerve in an emergency to avoid pedestrians while remaining in their own lane. Though the PCS with Pedestrian-avoidance Steer Assist could hit the market within a few years, Toyota will first roll out a more affordable version of its current PCS technology, which is available on the 2013 Toyota Prius and will expand to more models.

Toyota's existing PCS works in conjunction with Dynamic Radar Cruise Control. Using radar to detect speed and distance between the Prius and the vehicle ahead, the system can automatically adjust cruise-control speed in order to maintain a safe distance and avoid a collision. If the distance is abruptly shortened and the system identifies a possible crash, an audible warning alerts the driver before the brake assist is activated and the seatbelt is tightened. In the future PCS, the automatic steering would kick in when it is determined that braking alone cannot prevent an accident, provided there is enough space to make an evasive maneuver.

"I can't think of a better use for technology than saving lives, and Toyota has taken its commitment to active-safety features very seriously for drivers and pedestrians alike," said Wade Sterry, general manager of Russel Toyota, a Baltimore Toyota dealer. "We can expect this type of technology to become commonplace in the future, but Toyota is already ahead of the curve."

With the addition of Pedestrian-avoidance Steer Assist as the next logical step in the evolution of its PCS, Toyota is taking a significant leap toward the development of autonomous vehicles. Though the technology is not intended for driverless operation, cars equipped with this feature should be able to avoid a large number of accidents when there is not enough reaction time for driver input.

Despite its complex safety technology, Toyota was recently recognized for providing consumers with simpler shopping and driving experiences. In the United States, the brand topped all automakers in the 2013 Global Brand Simplicity Index from branding firm Siegel+Gale, which gathered the opinions of more than 10,000 consumers in seven countries. According to Siegel+Gale, simpler brands are more likely to be recommended to others by customers and stand to attract more revenue.

"The technologies in Toyota vehicles may be sophisticated, but they are designed to work without drivers having to think about them, whether it's a safety warning or the streaming music in the Entune infotainment system," added Sterry. "That means that Toyota owners can simply focus on enjoying their drive to wherever they need to be each day."

About Russel Toyota:
For more than 40 years, Russel Toyota has relied on a customer-first approach to provide Maryland drivers with only rewarding experiences when it comes to Toyota sales, service and parts. In addition to the dealership’s broad selection of cars, trucks, SUVs and minivans, Baltimore Toyota owners can also take advantage of Russel Toyota’s affordable and thorough maintenance services from their expert team of technicians. Browse their inventory online at www.russeltoyota.com or in person at their Baltimore, Maryland Toyota dealership, located at 6324 Baltimore National Pike. They can also be reached by phone at 410-788-8400 and found on Facebook at www.facebook.com/RusselToyota.