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).

4toyota safety sense geneva

Adaptive Cruise Control

1toyota safety sense geneva
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. On the first of September 2016 I had a reason to thank the pre collision system as the car in front stopped suddenly I braked hard and with the help of the system my car stopped with two feet to spare
    but unfortunately the car behind did not have this system and hit me hard in the rear.
    My car is in one of your bodywork repair centres as I speak. maybe one day all cars will have this system.

  2. I prchased the Avensis D4 D Business Edition Estate in April 2016,the safety system would not work,the Dealership had several tries but could not get it to work or deactivate it.I refused the vehicle and was supplied with another one in May 2016.In early November during a heavy downpour the system started flashing faulty and I should clean the windscreen! I pulled over in the rain to clean it,like a fool.It continued several times that day and the only way to stop it was to switch everything off.Two weeks later it has started up again in beautiful sunny weather! Same proceedure pull over switch off.I cannot be the only person amongst the thousands sold to have the only two faulty cars.I am satisfied Toyota have a problem with this system and have not perfected it.I have complained to the Manager of the Dealerahip and aaked to have the system deactivated.As a safety system I have no confidence in it and so no point in using it.Also now the dark nights have arrived I have found out the headlight sensor system does not work either.

    1. Hi George,
      Thank you for your comment. Can we assume you’ve logged this complaint with our customer service department here at Toyota UK?

  3. Hi Ella did this and they had it back in,claimed the fault is caused by condensation,it was modified by an Heater element.December the 7th the unit faulty again this time the light dippng mechanism would not work.It dipps the lights but fails to put them up again.Also keeps switching the automatic system off.I found it very dangerous and scary on a dark country road.I am satified this system has not been throughly tried and tested by Toyota and you have a serious problem with this so called safety system

    1. Hi George,
      We contacted our customer relations department for you and believe someone has left you a voicemail asking for you to ring them back. We have re-opened your case and would advise keeping all communication between yourself and the customer relations department so it is logged. We hope you get this resolved. Many thanks.

  4. We have a Toyota Verso Design 2016. In cold weather condensation causes front camera/collision protection to fail. Awaiting reply from dealer, Burrows Doncaster.

    1. Hi Richard,
      We would have to recommend waiting for the response from the dealer and if you are unhappy with the assistance, contacting customer relations would be your next step. Many thanks.

      1. Hi Ella, I thought my post may help Toyota to identify a problem. That was the only reason for the post. Sorry if I have taken the wrong action, it was not my intention.

  5. I have an 2016 Auris Hybrid Sports Tourer with TSS fitted. Despite having the TSB works carried out It produces daily alarms on the dashboard, I get misting in front of the sensors, it misses roads signs, forgets the speed limit when I make a turn. Utterly useless. God help us if Toyota is designing an automatic no driver car.

      1. Yes I went in today, but they say there is nothing they can do. The TSB has improved nothing and Toyota GB just keep stating that the system is operating normally despite daily dashboard alarms etc. TSS just doesn’t work correctly on my car. Having read a speed limit sign, and then 50 metres after the sign I turn left at a junction the TSS systems forgets the sign it just read. This cannot be “normal” It doesn’t read motorway gantry signs correctly. How can this be “normal” and frankly of any use to me?

      2. Hi Terry,
        We have looked into your case and we have to advise keeping any contact between yourself and the customer relations team. Many thanks.

      3. I fully described 5 problems with my TSS system, but neither Toyota GB CR nor the dealer will address or explain why my car has these 5 issues. All I get is a generic “its all working normally” before anyone has even been for a drive in the car. With this generic statement, the other comments on this blog that other people are having the same problem, and more generally on the internet, I “smell a rat”. Well described issues require a well described answer, any engineer would know that! Get off the fence and start addressing the issues!!!!

      4. Hi Terry,
        Thanks for coming back to us. As we stated in our previous comment, it will be difficult for CR to keep up to date with your conversation with Toyota GB if you do it through a number of different channels. We have to recommend keeping the thread of conversation via email/telephone with Stephen from customer relations. We have advised him that you have been in touch via Twitter and the blog, and this has been logged. Many thanks.

      5. You serve no useful purpose as neither the dealer, Toyota GB nor this blog will explain why I am having the five issues I very accurately described. I have been very reasonable yet nobody will address or explain the issues I raised.Never never Toyota again (even hire cars), and time for a legal approach I think!

  6. Hi Terry,
    We understand one of our technical experts is to meet with you tomorrow and discuss the issues further. Stephen will also be getting in touch later on today to acknowledge your contact via the blog.

  7. I have TSS fitted to my 2016 Auris HSD and have had problems when driving in Rain , Fog and Sunny days . Message is displayed saying that front sensors are unavailable and that I should clean the windshield . I have tried this but it doesn’t make any difference . Switching the engine off and back on clears the message but usually returns . Also the speed limit displayed is not always the same as the speed limit for the road that I am traveling on . For example when driving through a built up area where the actual speed limit is 30mph it may display the sign the national speed limit sign 60mph .
    Am I doing something wrong ?


  8. Hi Andrew,
    Thanks for getting in touch. We are aware that naturally forming condensation can temporarily disable some features of Toyota Safety Sense. In the owners’ manual, customers are advised to activate the windscreen defogging/defrosting to eliminate the condensation and restore the functionality of TSS. If this does not work, we advise that you contact your local dealer, who will be able to implement a fix to your system.
    We are also aware that certain weather conditions, like low sunlight, may also affect the system due to direct light into the camera. We recognise that this may temporarily disable certain driver aids, but would like to stress that your vehicle still remains safe to drive. Please contact customer relations if you’d like to know more.
    Many thanks.

    1. Hi Ella ,
      Thanks for your reply . My car is due to have the work described in BE-0071T-1016 implemented by St Leonards Motors on Tuesday 7th Feb .
      Hopefully this update will solve the problems encountered so far

    2. Since having service bulletin BE-0071T-1016 carried out on my 2016 Auris I am pleased to be able to report that no further instances of PCS warning light flashing have occurred .
      Many thanks to SLM for implementing this and for lending me a courtesy car for the day .
      Unfortunately though this has made no difference to the Road sign speed limit information provided by the system .
      I am still seeing rouge speed limits displayed , such as . 60mph when driving through urban built up areas and past schools .Up to 100 mph on the A27 when the actual limit is 60mph ? .
      My car has been checked and apparently is working correctly .
      Therefore I can only conclude that Toyota’s interpretation of UK speed limits does not concur with UK law .

      1. Hi Andrew,
        Toyota Safety Sense can pick up numbers from alternative places (not just speed limit signs). Therefore, when an incorrect number is showing, this may be due to it finding a number elsewhere (i.e. registration plates). It’s designed as an aid and we therefore recommend looking at road signs too. Many thanks.

  9. Andrew, my Auris has already been back to the dealer for the so called “fix”, which includes fitting a heater element in front of the sensors. Trust me it doesn’t improve anything. If the outside temperature goes below about 1C then the element still doesn’t clear the condensation. Toyota tell me this is “normal”. How Toyota can think that the safety system is operating normally when it alarms so frequently in cold weather is beyond me.

    It obviously wasn’t tested very well. The speed side of TSS also doesn’t work in cities i.e. after turning at a junction, Toyota say this too is “normal”. I am drawing up legal papers ready to submit to the courts from early Feb as I’m exasperated with TSS. If it has all these limitations which Toyota consider as “normal” they should have listed them BEFORE I purchased the vehicle. Mercedes and BMW cars don’t have these issues, so Toyota are just “head in the sand”.

    1. I have a auris hybrid 2016 model and have the same problems as you .I also have a problem with the car telling me to brake when there is nothing in front of kit happens going along a motel way at speed and I nearly crashed . Have had the problem since the day I bought it

      1. Hi Dennis,
        We’re sorry to hear that you’re experiencing the same issues. Have you recorded your problem with our customer relations team?

  10. Am very angry that we are buying a new Toyota Yaris excel hybrid that won’t be ready till march and we wanted safety sensor and yet we are being told we can’t have it I would like to talk somebody at Toyota head office. As can’t get answers from dealers and safety sensor is still being advertised online

    1. Hi Peter,
      We’re sorry to hear that you’re unhappy. If you would like to speak to someone at head office we can take your email address, name and telephone number and get someone to contact you. Please could you provide us with your telephone number and we will blank this out in the comment. Many thanks.

    2. You will be much better off WITHOUT Safety Sense, it doesn’t work at all as advertised and will give you frequent alarms on the dashboard in cold weather. Steer well clear is my advice. Just spend some time on Google and you will see the problems we are all having and it’s across the entire range all over Europe.

    3. Hi Peter,
      We’ve just spoken with our customer relations team and we understand that someone has been in touch with a reply to your query as you submitted an email form to our team. We’d have to advise keeping all conversation with our customer relations team so everything can be logged in detail and they can assess your case fairly. Many thanks.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *