Toyota are taking a big step forward by stepping up the safety technology in the latest line of Lexus cars.
By installing a highly advanced Driver Monitoring System in the LS 600h, the LS 600hL and the LS 460 models, they’re committed to keep the driver’s eyes wide open and on the road at all times.
A sophisticated CCD (charge-coupled device) camera on the steering column monitors the driver’s eyes, facial features and head movements to gauge his or her levels of concentration while driving.
This is the latest in a series of preventative measures in Toyota’s Pre-Crash Safety initiative designed to pre-empt potentially dangerous situations.
Toyota’s entire Pre-Crash System comprises an on-board camera, pre-crash braking, suspension control and pre-crash seat belt manipulation.
This system not only keeps an eye on the driver’s face and head, but the millimeter wave radar in the front also monitors distance and position of other cars and obstacles, operating perfectly even in the worst rain or snowstorms with almost zero visibility.
Toyota claims the development of the world’s first rear pre-crash technology with the installation of a millimeter wave radar system in the rear bumper that warns the driver about vehicles approaching from behind. The information gathered by the millimeter wave radars combines with the 3D images from the camera for the most comprehensive situation analysis as you drive.
Here’s how it works:
When the driver gets into the vehicle and starts it up, the monitoring system captures the position of the head, the orientation of the face and the facial features.
When the Pre-Crash System detects that the driver’s face is off-centre or that the eyelids are not active, it throws itself into preventative mode, adapting the gear ratios and the suspension to the kind of action the driver will take.
The system also sounds an alarm, stiffens the seat belts and employs the Brake Actuator to slow the car down automatically.
The pre-crash technology extends the front-seat headrests too: when the seats are occupied, sensors embedded in these intelligent headrests monitor the head positions of the driver and passenger.
In the event of an imminent collision, the headrests move slightly upward and forward to prevent injury from whiplash.
This kind of technology, while being a wonderful breakthrough to help prevent accidents, is still dependant on the driver being conscious enough to take the right kind of action.
Being responsible about the way we drive is key to helping Toyota save more lives on our roads.