Toyota Safety Sense: a new level of active safety for the Toyota range

Toyota’s commitment to safe mobility takes a significant step forward with the introduction of Toyota Safety Sense, new set of active safety technologies designed to help prevent accidents, or mitigate their consequences.

Toyota Safety Sense brings together pre-collision and warning systems that make driving safer for the driver and other road users alike.

Toyota believes it is important to develop an approach to safety that involves people, vehicles and the traffic environment. It also focuses on “real-world” safety by analysing and learning from accidents that have happened and applying the knowledge gained to new vehicle development.

Seigo Kuzumaki is Toyota’s Chief Safety Technology Officer Secretary. He explained: “Of all the things we do at Toyota, safety is our number one priority; preventing crashes from happening in the first place, and protecting everyone involved should the worst happen.

“We see traffic safety as being about a blend of vehicles, people and the traffic environment. Each is critical, and it’s important to improve the safety of each element, but we are most effective when we manage to integrate all three. As vehicles become better able to recognise, judge and react to a situation, so must their drivers become smarter, ever-alert and in control.”

Safety is our number one priority; preventing crashes from happening in the first place, and protecting everyone involved should the worst happen. – Seigo Kuzumaki

Toyota’s Integrated Safety Management Concept strategy for vehicle safety R&D covers five areas: –
Intelligent parking systems that assist and support the driver when entering or exiting a tight parking spot
• Active safety systems designed to help avoid a crash
Pre-collision systems aimed at preparing for a crash
• Passive safety systems to help survive a crash
• Response and rescue once a crash has happened

Toyota Safety Sense has been developed according to these principles. All cars equipped with it will feature a Pre-Collision System (PCS) with an “urban” function and Lane Departure Alert (LDA).

Vehicles fitted with a millimetre-wave radar will benefit from an expanded range of features, including Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) and PCS with Pedestrian Detection.

To further enhance safety, as well as driver convenience, some models will also be equipped with Automatic High Beam (AHB) and Road Sign Assist (RSA).

Pre-Collision System

The Pre-Collision System detects objects on the road ahead and can reduce the risk of hitting the car in front. When it detects the possibility of a collision, it triggers audible and visual warnings to prompt the driver to brake. It also primes the braking system to deliver extra stopping force when the driver presses on the brake pedal. If the driver fails to react in time, the system automatically applies the brakes, reducing the vehicle’s speed by about 30km/h2 or even bringing it to a halt, to prevent a collision or mitigate the force of any impact.

PCS operates at between about 10 and 80km/h, speeds within which at least 80 per cent of rear-end collisions happen.

Vehicles fitted with a millimetre-wave radar benefit additionally from Adaptive Cruise Control (see below) and an enhanced PCS. Here, PCS operates over an extended relative speed range, from 10km/h to the vehicle’s top speed, and can achieve a greater reduction in speed with its automatic braking – about 40km/h. The system is able to detect potential collisions with pedestrians (in such cases the automated braking operates at relatives speeds of between 10 and 80km/h and can reduce speed by about 30km/h).

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Adaptive Cruise Control

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Adaptive Cruise Control helps the driver keep a safe distance from the car in front. It detects the vehicle ahead, determines its speed and then adjusts the Toyota’s vehicle speed (within a set range) to ensure a safe distance is maintained.

It uses a forward-facing camera and the millimetre-wave radar together to monitor vehicles merging in or out of the lane ahead, helping maintain smooth acceleration and deceleration.

Lane Departure Alert

The Lane Departure Alert system monitors lane markings on the road and helps prevent accidents and head-on collisions caused by a vehicle leaving its lane. If the vehicle starts to deviate from its lane without the turn indicators having been used, LDA alerts the driver with visual and audible warnings. Depending on the model, it can also provide steering assist to help the driver return the car to its intended course.

Automatic High Beam

The Automatic High Beam helps ensure excellent forward visibility when driving at night. It detects both the headlights of oncoming vehicles, and the tail lights of vehicles ahead, automatically switching between high and low beams to avoid dazzling other drivers. As high beam is used more frequently, pedestrians and obstacles are easier and quicker to spot.

Road Sign Assist

Road Sign Assist helps ensure drivers are kept informed, even if they have driven past a road sign without noticing. RSA identifies signage such as speed limits, no overtaking warnings and road conditions and the signs used on motorways, and displays the information on a colour TFT multi-information screen. If the driver exceeds the speed limit, the system will activate a warning light and buzzer.

Because vehicles fitted with Toyota Safety Sense reduce the risk of being involved a traffic accident, they can attract lower insurance costs, or a more advantageous insurance reclassification.

Availability

Toyota Safety Sense is fitted as standard across a number of Toyota models, including Avensis, new Prius and Verso, and is optionally available at a competitive price on Aygo, Yaris, Auris and RAV4.

Didier Leroy, President and CEO of Toyota Motor Europe, said: “It is only when such safety systems are in widespread use that they can have a real impact on eliminating traffic accidents and fatalities. That’s why Toyota has decided to launch the democratisation of advanced safety technologies in its cars.”

“Our goal is to be the world’s first manufacturer to offer such a package across an entire model line-up; from superminis and saloons to SUVs, helping drive down the costs for customers,” said Kuzumaki-san.

“High-level driver-assist technologies such as these make driving easier and simpler. They improve the driver’s perception of the traffic environment, their decision-making process and their overall safety skills. We believe that a more skilful driver is a safer driver, and that the added bonus of this dependable, reliable safety technology is that it can make the driver more confident and driving more enjoyable.”

Toyota Safety Sense retro-fit

Toyota Safety Sense technology cannot at present be retro-fitted to Toyota vehicles.

68 comments

  1. Yes I have Ella I’ve been having issues from the first day I got it from new it’s been in the garage many many times and they don’t know what to do with it . The worst time was tues28th driving along the motorway at night there was only my car on the motorway when a loud noise from the dash and it went red told me to brake so I did brake hard when doing 70mph and went into a bit of a skid and then I realized there was nothing to brake for it gave my wife and I a real freight I am now concerned that if it happens again and someone drives into the back of me how would I stand with my insurance

    1. Hi Dennis,
      We have spoken with our customer relations team and we are under the impression your car is with Arnold Clark today and they will advise us more after this. Many thanks.

  2. Hi, I have a 2017 Avensis Excel with TSS fitted, how do I know if the Pre-Crash Safety System is active or even working. What indications should I expect to reassure me of this?

    1. Hi Frank,
      Thanks for getting in touch. TSS is fitted with a diagnostic system that will detect if there is a fault with the system. You will know there is a fault if a PCS (Orange OFF light) is flashing on your dashboard. It is also likely a message will pop up on the screen next to your Speedometer etc. If you have any worries about your TSS system we have to strongly advise contacting your local dealer or pop into your nearest Toyota Centre. They will be able to advise you of anything regarding your TSS. Many thanks.

  3. Thanks Ella, I’ve only had the car for a couple off weeks now and despite all the negative comments about the TSS system, it appears to work as advertised on my Avensis and I’m more than satisfied with it, so far.

    1. Hi Frank,
      That’s great to here! We hope you have many happy years behind the wheel of your Toyota. 🙂

  4. I bought Toyota Vitz with Safety Package. There is switch to on Safety, but even I ON the switch still the breaks are not applying when the car gets close to an object in front. Am I operating wrongly? Pl’s advice

    1. Hi Manoraj,
      Thanks for getting in touch.
      If the system is switched on it will be active and the breaking is all dependent on the speed of approach against the speed and pressure of the foot brake. It is not a system that you can test by getting close to something.
      If you have any further questions, we’d advise contacting your nearest Toyota dealer.
      Thanks.

  5. Hi..I’ve got a vitz ksp 130 safety edition 2018, just 2 weeks ago. However the radar break system does not work no matter how much we tried to see if there are any settings to be done. Is there any particular settings that needs to be changed? Or should I go for a scan to find out what the issue is? Everything else works perfectly. Should it ideally alarm before a break?

    1. Hi Tans,
      Thanks for getting in touch.
      Please contact Toyota in your region for further help with this issue.
      We can only advise on vehicles sold in the UK.
      Thanks.

  6. Sharing my experience here as this is a poor system for a number of reasons and I feel others should be made aware.

    First of all, the high beam assist system failed completely and needed the whole sensor replaced – the car is 3.5 years old. My local dealer dealt with this smoothly and of course it was under warranty (would have been over £1k if I was out of warranty). I still had to make three trips to the dealer to get it resolved which was a huge inconvenience.

    Anyway, it’s now working again after the replacement but I’d say it actually only works about 90% of the time. The other 10% you are left rushing to manually dip before getting flashed by oncoming traffic for not dipping in time. I’m fairly sure this isn’t a fault; it’s just not a reliable system. It’s just as unlikely to detect that you’re following a car as an oncoming one too.

    So you now have to second guess every time you see an oncoming car, and no, it’s not quite fast enough when it does do it automatically either. What usually happens is I rush to dip then hit the hazard light button which is just behind the light stalk. So I blind them with full beam then signal with the hazard lights while I fumble with the stalk before I finally manage to dip the headlights.

    I have now given up using it and just do it manually again. Honestly, dipping headlights isn’t really a problem that needs to be solved with a thousand pound sensor. I’d much rather it wasn’t there. Now I’ve given up with the ‘assistance’ of the TSS I can dip manually just at the moment the oncoming car appears and because I know I’m going to do it’s not a rush!

    However, my real concern is with the pre crash detection system itself. If you are driving in heavy rain, the system will without doubt throw the error about clearing the glass and shut the whole system down. This isn’t condensation, this is some way into the journey when the inside of the glass is totally clear via air conditioning. This is just because the rain is obstructing the windscreen and the wipers aren’t clearing it fast enough. So when you most want an extra safety system, your attention is diverted by a message saying to clear the screen.

    However even if the rain slows down and you are sure the wipers have cleared it, the system stays offline until you restart the car. So you find yourself stopping by the side of the road in low visibility, restarting the car then accelerating to merge back into the traffic again. So a safety system in a so-called frugal car is costing more fuel and forcing the driver to either put up with a distracting amber flashing warning light or stop and restart the car. Neither of which are acceptable.

    I’m sure I’ll be encouraged to talk to customer relations, but clearly I don’t have any actual faults, I just made a bad choice choosing Toyota it seems. Is the customer relations team going to let me switch to a car without all this stuff and refund the premium I paid for this spec car? I doubt it!

    The only thing that might give me a hint of hope for the future of motoring with Toyota is if the newer systems with the millimetre wave radar are in any way better at working in poor visibility. Can anyone from Toyota confirm that? I would love to find out if other systems in other manufacturers handle this better or not.

    Overall though the experience highlights the fundamental issue with modern cars. We all buy this stuff thinking ‘it’s what we want’ (heaven forbid we use the word ‘need’) but are ultimately disappointed with the experience after living with it. I think it’s time we start actively rejecting it and buying the low-spec models without it. Of course the current models are coming with this stuff as standard which makes this very hard. But it’s only when the car manufacturers start struggling to shift the high spec models that they might start to consider that people with those budgets might actually prefer to pay for a higher standard of ‘simple’ engineering that works reliably and achieves what it sets out to do.

    1. Hi there,

      Thank you for these comments and we are sorry to hear that you are experiencing these issues. Safety is extremely important to us, so if you believe any of these things mentioned are a fault with the system, we would strongly advise for you to contact your local Toyota Centre to organise an inspection of your vehicle. As ever, our Customer Relations team would be happy to speak to you regarding any of this if you would like to do so. As well as safety, customer feedback is of high importance to us, so we will also pass these comments on to our Product Team.

      Thanks.

    2. Thanks you, I will not buy Toyota for sure. To Toyota : safety system is not superior than a human being, it should not cause problems to drive it should stay as an optional for driver, and there should be option to disable it as long as driver wants..

      1. Hi Rafi,

        Thanks for getting in touch. We are incredibly committed to safe mobility and are constantly working to improve our safety sense system. There will be circumstances such as adverse weather where the functionality of the system is limited, however it is important to note that safety sense is a driving aid and doesn’t replace the concentration of the driver.

        Finally, elements of the system such as the pre crash detection system can be disabled. These features and how to use them are fully explained in the owner’s manual.

        Thanks.

  7. How do I permanently disable the pre-collision system on an ’16 CHR? It doesn’t remember the off setting. I can disable the LDS, the blindspots, the rear traffic crossing warning, the parking sensors and the speed sign detection but not the PCS.

    Considering I’m not using any of this day-to , can I just have it all removed?

    1. Hi Charlie,

      Thanks for providing us with this. We’ve looked into this with our technical team and because changing the PCS will reset when the ignition is turned back on, due to this system being a safety feature of the vehicle, having it disabled permanently is not recommended.

      However, there may be a possibility of this setting being changed, but would require the vehicle being assessed by your nearest Toyota Centre for the customisable setting to be altered through the diagnostic computer, if the setting is available.

      The setting that may be available is “PCS Operation State Retention Setting” and should achieve what you would like.

      You can find your nearest Toyota Centre via this link: https://www.toyota.co.uk/forms/forms?tab=pane-dealer

      Thanks.

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