Called “Automated Highway Driving Assist” (AHDA) and “Pre-Collision System” (PCS) the two new systems mark another step in the move towards fully-autonomous vehicles.
AHDA is actually a combination of two other semi-autonomous systems; Cooperative-Adaptive Cruise Control (CACC) and Lane Trace Control (LTC) which combine to make highway driving safer and more efficient.
CACC communicates with other vehicles on the highway, in order to maintain a safe following distance while LTC can automatically adjust steering input to ensure the vehicle maintains the optimal driving line within the lane.
It is hoped that the technology will improve traffic congestion while also making highway driving more efficient, as the CACC system will use the minimum amount of fuel to keep a safe following distance, compared with the less-precise throttle applications from a human driver.
The PCS system will initially be available without Pedestrian-Avoidance Steer Assist (PASA) in order to keep costs down and fast-track availability in cheaper models.
Without PASA, the safety system can detect a potential collision with a pedestrian and warn the driver, before automatically braking. PASA goes one step further, by automatically steering away from the pedestrian.
Beyond the rollout of AHDA and PCS, Toyota is looking to the future with technology supporting recognition, decision-making and vehicle operation aimed squarely at supporting the ageing population.
Toyota says it recognises the importance of the driver being in ultimate control of the vehicle and will therefore aim to incorporate the systems in a way that doesn’t compromise the “fun-to-drive” aspect of controlling a vehicle.
Both of the new systems will be on display at the 20th Intelligent Transport Systems World Congress held in Tokyo next week, while testing will take place on Tokyo's Shuto Expressway at the same time.