Even midrangemodels such as the Corolla, Camry and RAV4 now feature rearview cameras and auto-leveling headlamps.Toyota estimates that failure to recognize potential danger causes 70% of accidents.
Millimeter-wave radar introduced last December for pre-crash safety and adaptive cruise-control systems on new Mazda6.
TOKYO – Like automakers in other markets, Japanese vehicle manufacturers continue a steady ramp-up of safety-related content on models throughout their lineups. And, if the recent Ceatec Japan 2013 exhibition here is any indication, more is on the way.
From entry-level hatchbacks to luxury sedans, most vehicles sold here now are equipped with stability and traction controls, antilock braking and electronic brake-force distribution and brake-assist systems.
The trend mirrors the U.S., where either demand or federal safety regulations have ABS, stability control and traction control at or near 100% installation rates and systems such as brake assist and lane-departure warning on the rise, WardsAuto data shows.
In passive safety, models such as theFit, Vitz and Mazda3 are fitted with six airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners with force limiters and child-restraint seats.
Almost all vehicles, regardless of size or segment, now feature rigid body structures and front crumple zones.
Names of these systems differ by manufacturer and market.
In North America,calls its basic safety package Star Safety. In addition to the above preventive systems, the auto maker added brake-override in 2011. The system, called Smart Stop, kicks in when the driver inadvertently engages both accelerator and brake pedals at the same time, a response to sudden-acceleration charges that rocked the automaker in the U.S. in 2010.
Even midrange Toyota models such as the Corolla, Camry and RAV4 now feature rearview cameras and auto-leveling headlamps. Toyota estimates that failure to recognize potential danger causes 70% of accidents.
’s Safety Shield concept incorporates an array of preventive safety technologies such as lane-departure warning and 4-wheel active steering, in addition to offering standard ABS, brake assist and vehicle-stability control.
At Ceatec this month, the auto maker unveiled an automated driving system it claims could be market ready by 2020.
, an early leader in the preventive safety field, is expanding installation of its lane-departure warning and collision-mitigation braking systems.
Debuting on the Legend in 2006, collision-mitigation braking – designed to automatically engage the car’s brakes when an accident is imminent – now is offered on more than a dozen Honda and Acura models.
With the launch of the new Accord Hybrid, Honda lowered the system’s activation speed from 10 mph (15 km/h) to 3 mph (5 km/h). The automaker also reengineered the system to estimate the net speed difference with the vehicle in front.
Honda’s latest safety innovation focuses on pedestrians. Employing dedicated short-range communications technology to connect the car with a pedestrian’s smart phone, ‘V2P’, as the system is called, provides auditory and visual warnings to both pedestrians and drivers.
So far Honda has introduced the technology on the Fit and Accord hybrids and Fit EV.
Subaru-makerHeavy Industries unveiled the next generation of its EyeSight telematics system here at Ceatec. The new version adds lane-keeping assist, pre-collision reverse-throttle management and hazard-avoidance assist.
The current system is featured on the Forester, Legacy and Outback models. Designed with two cameras affixed near the rearview mirror to monitor traffic flow, EyeSight sounds a warning and triggers the car’s brakes when a potential collision is detected.
Meanwhile,introduced millimeter-wave radar last December for the pre-crash safety and adaptive cruise-control systems on the new Mazda6. Developed by , the system features a detection range of 672 ft. (205 m) within a 114-ft. (35-m) radius from the vehicle.
Even 0.66L minicar makers are getting in the act. Daihatsu, Toyota’s small-car subsidiary, in late 2012 introduced a smart brake assist device on its Move model to help prevent low-speed crashes. The system, like’s, employs millimeter-wave radar technology supplied by .
As expected, the most safety-loaded cars are in the luxury segment.
’s Infiniti Q50 Hybrid offers the automaker’s Around View monitor with moving object detection and front and rear sonar systems, rain-sensing front windshield wipers, adaptive front lighting with auto-leveling headlights, and distance-control assist.
Other devices included in the Q50’s Deluxe Technology option package are blindspot warning and blindspot intervention, back-up collision intervention, intelligent cruise control, predictive forward collision warning, forward emergency braking, and lane-departure warning and prevention with active-lane control.
In August, Nissan revealed the next step in its Around View concept with a prototype employing laser scanners that enable the car to automatically steer around stationary objects in its path, such as hard-to-see barriers set up during road construction or parked cars.
Toyota’s Lexus GS series offers optional dynamic rear steering, pre-collision prevention with dynamic radar cruise control, blindspot monitoring, lane-keep assist and lane-departure warning, driver attention monitoring with closed-eye detection, night vision, intuitive parking assist employing sonar technology, and rain-sensing intermittent windshield wipers.
Earlier this month, the automaker announced the development of new pre-crash technology that combines automatic steering with pre-crash braking force and automatic braking to avoid hitting pedestrians.
Toyota plans to introduce the system in 2015. It will kick in only if there is sufficient space to steer around a pedestrian or fixed obstacle such as a parked car.
The automaker introduced the automatic braking component of the system last year on upper-end grades of the ’13 Lexus LS series. That system, called Active Pedestrian Detection, incorporates millimeter-wave radar, two stereo cameras and two near-infrared emitters.
Toyota reports that pedestrian fatalities are now the most common in Japan, accounting for a 37% share. Of total accidents, rear-end collisions account for 34% of the total according to National Police Agency statistics.