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Safety Systems Are Hotting Up

Sometimes it’s pretty hard keeping up with all the new doo-dads that are part of a new car’s comprehensive safety equipment list.  Some of the new names are new for the sake of being new – to disguise the fact that they are safety systems that have been around for a while – sure, over time, the old has been refined.  However, the new safety systems that Toyota, and others, are working on are pretty cool.  Get a load of these features.

Toyota has announced that they have some vehicle safety advancements that focus on the older drivers and pedestrians.  This is in response to the accident statistics, in Japan, that reveal that more than half of traffic deaths are of people aged 65 and over.  Incredibly, Japanese statistics show that pedestrians account for more fatalities than vehicle occupants.

As well as protecting people inside and outside the car when a crash occurs, cars like Toyota are looking at monitoring the occupant’s health and helping them to avoid a crash in the first instance.

Toyota’s Emergency Response Technology deals with a driver who collapses at the wheel because of a heart attack or a sudden blackout.  Obviously, this is a scenario that can cause very serious accidents.  What the new technology does is it monitors cardiovascular functions through the driver’s grip on the steering wheel.  This can detect risk situations.  Toyota will continue their research on this amazing technology.

Pre-Crash Safety (PCS) is another biggie that Toyota is working on.  PCS incorporates collision-avoidance technology to create a vehicle that is less likely to become involved in an accident.  Toyota have progressed their system to the place where the system will predict when a collision is imminent and will initiate measures to reduce damage and the risk of occupant injury.  With the use of radar and a miniature camera, the vehicle will monitor the road ahead and apply brakes if the driver doesn’t.  How effective the end result is depends on road conditions and circumstances.  Additions to this will be a system that will help the driver steer a safe course in an emergency.  PCS would monitor locations of roadside obstacles and approaching vehicles to analyse, and respond, to collision risks and change any action, accordingly.

An Adaptive Driving Beam system has already been employed by many premium car manufacturers.  This is a system that automatically dips the headlights when taillights are coming into view in your lane ahead of you or when the system detects an oncoming car in the opposite lane.  Once no cars are detected ahead in either lane, the system automatically switches the headlights up to full beam again.

Jaguar has employed a pop-up-bonnet system that looks to protect pedestrians who are on course for a collision with the car’s front end.  As the system detects the pedestrian ahead of the car, the rear-bonnet section rises up to create a gentler slope at the time of impact.  This technology makes for a better impact (no impact is nice) and reduces the level of head injury for the unfortunate pedestrian.