Tag: Toyota Safety
For so many car buyers safety is king. It’s not usually the first thing that buyers think about, or even the thing that stands out most when making a purchase, but safety really is the most important factor when it comes to deciding on a vehicle. That’s why it’s so important that the newest Prius C is coming stocked with enhanced safety features. It offers the same good value for a hybrid, but with more to look forward to when it comes to safety. Overall it will be safer and more reliable to drive around, but let’s take a look at what safety features you get to see why that is.
Safety Sense C
All Prius C models in 2017 will come with the Toyota Safety Sense C package. This comes with a selection of active and passive safety technologies that work together to help keep you safe while driving out on the road. These systems are much more comprehensive than most of the standard safety features you’ll find on vehicles today.
The Passive Features
Within the Prius C there are some pretty impressive passive safety features that you’ll benefit from each time you take it out onto the road. A total of 9 airbags help pad any collisions that you might have while driving. There’s also a stability control system that helps you maintain control while driving and makes handling the vehicle in poor situations a bit easier as well.
The Active Features
The active features are the most impressive part of the Toyota safety package. The car comes with tech designed to help you avoid most accidents with ease. There’s automatic braking that reacts to obstacles in the road. There is a lane departure system with cameras that pick up yellow and white lines to help the vehicle stay within the designated driving area. There’s also automatic high beams that turn on and off at night, depending on traffic conditions on the surrounding roads. Overall, the active features create more reliable driving conditions and help you stay on the road even when you become distracted while driving.
The latest Prius C model will be safer and more reliable overall than many other compact vehicles on the road, and you don’t even have to pay extra in order to enjoy those benefits.
Automakers are always looking for the next best way to keep drivers safe. Many are now releasing systems that use radar to detect obstructions in the road and help reduce the severity of a crash, but what if your car could predict a crash from much farther down the road and do more than just stomp on the brakes to help keep you out of trouble? That’s exactly what Toyota is working on, and it’s exciting.
A More Capable System
Toyota is investing more than $1 Billion into artificial intelligence in a quest to make vehciles that are more intelligent and that can operate themselves to some degree. While making this massive investment Toyota also hopes to make major strides towards safety. The automaker is exploring different safety systems that can detect crashes and other dangerous situations more effectively, and respond to them in new and helpful ways. For instance, a wreck in the middle of the highway would be best avoided by changing to a new lane that puts you out of the way of the vehicle. The Toyota vehicle might notice that you haven’t changed lanes yet and steer you into the safer lane after checking to be sure there was a safe opening to move. Of course the vehicle would let you know you’re being moved for safety purposes, and you would be spared the risk of that collision. That’s the type of technology that Toyota is working towards, and it’s something that could help prevent a lot of collisions or near collisions while out on the road.
Helping Japan’s Aging Society
Toyota is investing so much of its resources into AI research to help stay ahead in the race toward self-driving vehicles, but also to help its aging society. The automaker realizes that citizens in Japan are slowly growing older and older and that puts private vehicle ownership at risk in the country. In order to help out the citizens, and keep selling vehicles in Japan, Toyota really wants cars that take on more of the driving responsibility themselves, so that the elderly still have vehicles to rely on. Toyota is even looking at robots designed to help out people in their homes so that their lives can be improved outside of the vehicle as well.
Toyota isn’t the only automaker to look at these types of enhancements, but it seems to be one of the most serious companies about safety and self-driving vehicles. With major safety advancements like the one detailed above going into mainstream vehicles, the roads are bound to become significantly safer for everyone involved, and that’s exciting news for everybody.
Toyota vehicles are known for being some of the safest and most reliable out on the road. The automaker is always working on another feature or design improve to make them even safer, and now it’s upgrading the way it does crash test dummies to make rides safer for children.
Adding Three More Dummy Models
Toyota’s crash test system is known as THUMS and it’s well-known for being one of the most realistic crash test suites used to verify that vehicles are safe. The software began use back in 2000, and since then has evolved dramatically. The most recent addition is a selection of different child models, to help simulate crashes with different sized dummies.
Three Different Sized Children
In order to create more realistic crash scenarios Toyota worked in three different sized child dummies into the mix. There is now a 10 year old, 6 year old and 3 year old test dummy that can be added into different locations of a vehicle to see how crashes will work out with them. Each of these dummies is sized the average size for a US child in the various age groups listed above. That means that more effective tests can be done on things like airbags, and impacts at different angles.
So Good Other Automakers Use it
Toyota’s software tool is so effective that many other automakers pay to use the software as well. Toyota is not willing to disclose which other companies rely on the proprietary software, but we bet it’s more than just one or two.
Physical crash tests have been using child-sized dummies for years, but having access to virtual dummies is much more convenient and will allow testing a larger number of scenarios, which should result in even safer vehicles down the road. While one single physical test is carried out, Toyota can run dozens of virtual tests and collect all the data that comes from each one of them.
Overall this software advancement is big news. It means that Toyota is now looking out for children more effectively. Cars will be designed to protect adults and children alike, and when those vehicles do get into accidents they will be even safer for the kids riding in them, which I’m sure is a major priority for parents. Of course physical tests are still going to be used, and when vehicles are tested for safety they are done so using real-world testing of finished vehicles, but virtual testing can help make those vehicles even more capable before they ever get to the physical testing stage.
If you still think that most of the crash testing is done using real crash dummies you are sadly mistaken. Many automotive manufacturers today rely on virtual software to do the majority of their in-house crash testing. The software simulates the vehicle, the testing situation and what would happen to the virtual dummy. While the software doesn’t sound too accurate, it actually provides very realistic results and it’s highly affordable. Toyota recently began making major use of an upgrade to the software that they rely on to make their testing predictions even more accurate overall.
Improving Unrealistic Software
Most crash test software assumes that the driver and the passengers of a vehicle will be limp when they crash. Many times this isn’t the case at all. When the driver realizes that a vehicle is about to crash he will tense his muscles and prepare for impact. This is the same thing that most passengers do as well. While it’s possible some riders will be limp at the time of impact, most of the time the muscles will be taught and result in a whole different set of injuries than limp people would suffer. To improve the software Toyota modified it to make the virtual dummies react by tightening up their muscles just before impact.
The New Software
The original software could only analyze what would happen with a change in posture after an accident. The new software can also change the human’s posture before an accident to evaluate a range of possible crash instances. The software makes it possible to see more potential problems that will occur during an accident and to make vehicles safer as a result. The new technology enables a new muscle model that makes all of this information available and the new testing possible in the first place.
This same software is used by several automakers and parts manufacturers. With the latest upgrade to the tech automobiles should become safer in the future and injuries during accidents should end up being more minor than they currently are. The new changes that will occur from this technology are hard to predict, but you should expect more capable Toyota vehicles in the future that have safety features designed to protect a wide range of passengers.
The software improvements won’t stop any of the physical testing that’s performed on Toyota vehicles. It will simply provide designers and engineers a new perspective on how to make the vehicles safer than they already are. Improving a design that already works very well is difficult, but with improved tools like this testing software it’s quite possible to do.
Voice-controlled media systems were invented to make driving a safer experience. Unfortunately, recent studies show that many of these systems can cause “inattention blindness”. Essentially drivers are getting distracted and not watching the road as closely as they should be. Luckily this isn’t the case for every media system, and AAA’s recent study shows that Toyota’s voice recognition system is the least distracting of the bunch.
The AAA foundation put six different automaker media systems to the test to see which was the least distracting. During the test they instructed drivers to make phone calls and operate both the CD player and the radio. The test results were a bit disarming.
Out of all six systems tested only Toyota’s was less distracting than making a phone call using a standard cell phone.
No More Distracting than an Audiobook
The study determined that Toyota’s system was no more distracting than an audiobook, which is more than safe for regular driving conditions. If you have ever listened to a book on tape while driving around safely, you could probably operate Toyota’s system without a problem as well.
Why Other Systems are Distracting?
Drivers want to be able to use voice controls while driving around, but they become easily distracted when the controls are working as smoothly as they would like them to. When the system does not recognize a command and the driver can’t perform the desired command they not only become frustrated but also distracted.
The longer drivers had to spend trying to make the system understand their commands, the more distracted they became. It can also be distracting when the system doesn’t respond back to the driver confirming their command.
How Toyota Gets it Right
The reason that Toyota’s system is so much safer than many of its competitors is its simplicity. It doesn’t jam in a bunch of unnecessary features. The interface is simple, the system understands most voice commands very accurately and it talks back to the driver. With all of these different elements put together you get a very reliable media system that can be depended on to entertain while being safe to use.
The AAA foundation has provided the data from their study to each of the automakers involved in the testing and they hope that the rest of the companies involved will take action to improve their systems. According to Peter Kissinger, the AAA Foundations president, Toyota’s results are something that they would like to see replicated by all of the automakers in the future for improved road safety.