Toyota Motor introducing three new automated driver assistance safety systems; begins operations at new ITS Proving Ground
|TMC says that its PCS is effective at higher speeds. Click to enlarge.|
Toyota Motor Corporation has developed and will deploy in select upcoming vehicles three new automated driver assistance/safety systems: a Pre-Collision System (PCS) with collision avoidance that is effective at higher speeds; Intelligent Clearance Sonar that uses sonar to detect obstacles hidden from the driver’s view, automatically applying the brakes if the vehicle is at risk of collision; and Drive-start Control to control engine output to mitigate collisions that may occur as a result of erroneous gear shifting or pedal misapplication while the vehicle is stationary or moving at low speed.
TMC also began full-scale operations at its ITS Proving Ground, a new test site—within the grounds of the Higashi-Fuji Technical Center in Susono City, Shizuoka Prefecture—established with the aim of reducing traffic accidents through Intelligent Transport System (ITS) technology. The new 3.5-hectare ITS Proving Ground simulates an urban environment with faithfully replicated roads and traffic signals. The site is equipped with a road-to-vehicle communications system consisting of a vehicle detection system, a pedestrian detection system, a course monitoring system, traffic signals and control devices.
PCS. Research has shown that a speed of 40 km/h to 60 km/h (25 mph to 37 mph) at the time of a rear-end collision is the range in which the number of fatal and injury-causing accidents increases.
The newly developed PCS uses millimeter-wave radar to detect the risk of a rear-end collision with a preceding vehicle, with the system warning the driver via sound and display alerts to prompt braking when such a risk is detected. When the driver applies the brakes, PCS enables deceleration of up to 60 km/h (e.g., When the driver’s car is traveling at 80 km/h and the preceding car is traveling at 20 km/h) by greatly increasing the braking force up to twice that of the average force applied by drivers.
If the brakes are not applied, automatic deceleration of 15 km/h to approximately 30 km/h is possible.
More than 90% of rear-end collisions occur when the difference in speed between the preceding and following vehicle is within 60 km/h, according to preliminary calculations from traffic accident statistics from the Institute for Traffic Accident Research and Data Analysis (ITARDA).
TMC aimed to develop a system based on real-world collision data, and has, with its newly developed system, achieved rear-end-collision reducing-effects at the highest level in the industry. The new PCS was developed to be used in a wide variety of models, and is to be rolled out starting with soon-to-be-launched models.
Intelligent Clearance Sonar. When the clearance sonar detects an obstacle the vehicle is at risk of colliding with, such as a wall, when starting off in a parking garage or other similar environment, the system sounds an alarm, reduces engine or motor output and automatically applies the brakes.
Drive-start Control. If the vehicle gear stick is erroneously shifted when the accelerator pedal is applied, or if other abnormal gear shifting is detected, a warning is displayed and engine or motor output is reduced to limit sudden starts or acceleration.
For example, if while reversing in a parking lot, a driver unexpectedly strikes an object, the driver may become startled and shift gears from reverse to drive while continuing to press the accelerator. Drive-start Control reduces engine or motor output if such an instance is detected.
ITS. The communications system at the ITS Proving Ground runs on the 700 MHz band, which was allocated for ITS by Japan’s Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications in December 2011. The 700 MHz band is easily diffracted and reception over wide areas is possible, making it effective for communications with vehicles at intersections and other locations with poor visibility.
With the start of full-scale operations at the ITS Proving Ground, TMC will accelerate its research and development of environmental systems designed to improve fuel efficiency as well as safe driving support systems that seek to prevent accidents involving pedestrians and other vehicles in urban areas and at intersections.
TMC is also conducting research and development on next-generation vehicle-infrastructure cooperative systems that support safe driving and that have been designed to prevent accidents involving pedestrians and other vehicles at intersections with poor visibility through the continuous exchange of road-to-vehicle, vehicle-to-vehicle and pedestrian-to-vehicle information.