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.


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.


  1. Hi Richard
    Thanks for your post.
    Toyota Safety Sense is a new programme for the Auris and Avensis models but we do not have any information at this stage about future product receiving this specification. Please do stay tuned to our Blog though because we announce all our latest news here.

  2. Hi Manyok
    Thanks for your post.
    Toyota Safety Sense is to highlight a range of safety features fitted to our cars and this post goes into the features such as Pre Collision System, Lane Departure Alert, Automatic High Beam and Road Sign Assist. Please let us know if you have any more questions or queries about these features.

    1. I have this feature on my new Excel; shows fault on a damp day. Sensor can’t detect. Also auto light dipping won’t work!

      1. Why can’t I have Sensor save fitted to my new Yaris excel when you are still advertising it online

      2. Hi Peter,
        If your Yaris Excel is a new generation then Toyota Safety Sense should be an available accessory for your vehicle. Have you spoken to your Toyota Centre about this? Many thanks.

  3. Can my 4 month old auris excel tourer be ugraded to have the safety sense fitted as when i bought it it was not factory fitted.

    1. Hi Fred. We’re sorry for the delay in getting back to you. We’re afraid that Toyota Safety Sense can only be specified as a factory-fit option at point of purchase.

  4. I have a 2016 Yaris Excel fitted with Safety Sense, is it on all the time without any input from the driver?

    Is the Automatic High Beam on all the time or is it switchable?


  5. My 2013 plate Yaris T Spirit had door handle touch lock and unlocking which was great.

    Why doesn’t my new 2016 Yaris Excel have them?

  6. Hi David,
    Thank you for your post. We have spoken with our accessories department and they have advised that keyless entry is an option on the Yaris Excel through a Premium Pack option. This option is a factory fit accessory, therefore would need to be specified at the time of ordering. Many thanks.

  7. Hi David,
    Thank you for your post. Safety Sense is an automatic function which will function as the car is in motion. Automatic High Beam can be switched on/off. Your local Toyota Dealer will be able to show you this function. Many thanks.

    1. Thanks for your reply. If Safety Sense is an automatic function which will function as the car is in motion, what does the switch to the left of the Auto headlamp switch do?

      1. Hi David,
        Thank you for your quick reply. An overview of the Yaris functions can be found in your owner’s manual, found here: However if you require a more detailed explanation we would advise visiting your local Toyota Dealer who will be able to demonstrate all the functions for Safety Sense, including which ones can be turned on/off and which ones are automatic. Hope this helps a little more.

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