Toyota hosts fleet ride-and-drive event that focuses on safety features
Safety took centre stage at a ride and drive event on October 18, hosted by Toyota at the Copper Creek Golf Club in Vaughan, Ontario. The event included education sessions, networking opportunities and the chance to drive the latest models from among Toyota’s fleet vehicles.
“Safety should not be a luxury,” said Michael Bernier of Toyota University, who addressed the audience during a presentation on the company’s latest safety offerings. Bernier noted that the company was working to bring to all customers safety features once considered luxury items.
During his presentation, Bernier described the company’s array of vehicle safety systems, called Toyota Safety Sense (TSS). The system includes features designed to avoid or mitigate frontal collisions, while its lane departure alert component helps drivers stay in their lanes. The system also includes auto high beams, as so many accidents happen after sundown, Bernier noted.
The system comes in either TCC-C or TSS-P, denoting either cars or pedestrians.
The TCC-C version includes a camera mounted behind the windshield, as well as lane departure alert and high beam and pre-collision systems. It is included in the 2016 Prius C technology model as well as the 2017 Corolla iM and every 2017 yaris hatchback, Bernier said.
Meanwhile, the TSS-P includes a steering assist function and pedestrian detection function. It’s a feature in the 2017 Prius/Prime, the Highlander and Hybrid, the 2016 Avalon, the 2017 Corolla and RAV4 and its hybrid version.
By the end of 2017 the majority of vehicles in Toyota’s line up will have one system or the other, Bernier noted.
During his presentation, Bernier discussed several features of each safety system in more detail. Those features included:
Automatic high beam: switch automatically back and forth to provide as much lighting as possible. The lights work in dark areas when there’s no oncoming traffic or vehicles in front. The vehicle must be travelling over 34km. The high beams are triggered by light stimulus and the driver can disable them.
Lane departure alerts: Using the same camera as the auto high beams, lane departure alerts give visual and audio warnings when the vehicle leaves a lane without the turn signal activated and when lane markings are visible.
Sway warning in TSS-P: This feature detects vehicle swaying that occurs when driver attentiveness wanes. The driver remains in full control and the system can be disabled. The feature works when going over 50km/hr, and the sensitivity can be adjusted.
Dynamic radar cruise control: This feature uses millimeter wave radar to maintain a distance from the vehicle in front on a highway. The driver can choose between short, medium and long distance settings. The faster the vehicle is travelling, the more distance the system provides. The system cancels when a vehicle drops below 40km/hr.
Pre-collision systems: In the TSS-C, the pre-collision system is designed to provide warning and auto braking for possible collisions with the preceding vehicle. It can reduce speed up to 30km. In the TSS-P, the system provides a warning and emergency braking for collisions with a preceding vehicle or pedestrian and can reduce vehicle speed up to 30km. The system has three stages. In the first stage, the driver gets a warning. In stage two, brake assist is applied; the third stage is a full stop. The driver remains in full control, and the system can be disabled.
For a full list of Toyota’s fleet vehicles, visit the Toyota website.