Toyota to introduce active safety systems on mass-market vehicles in 2015

Advanced driving support system, AHDA, will be available in mid-2010s

2014/01/16

Summary

Crown Majesta F version
Crown Majesta "F version" featuring the new pre-crash safety system (millimeter-wave radar type) introduced at the end of 2012

 This report specifies Toyota's plan to increase the availability of active safety systems in its vehicles. Toyota has been a leader in the field of crash preventive safety technologies, since it became the world's first automaker to adopt pre-crash safety technologies in its vehicles in 2003. However, the automaker lags behind other automakers in adopting such technologies in low-priced, mass-market models. Recently, the European New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) has decided to incluce  autonomous emergency braking  in its safety ratings starting in 2014. Accordingly, Japan New Car Assessment Program (JNCAP) is considering taking the same action. Under these circumstances, Toyota plans to introduce two types of active safety systems: one for premium models, and the other for mass-market models starting in 2015. In the mid-2010s, Toyota will also introduce an advanced driving support system, Automated Highway Driving Assist (AHDA), which uses automated driving technologies.

Related report:
ITS 2013: Toyota & Honda demonstrate autonomous driving (posted in November 2013)
Euro NCAP adds Autonomous Emergency Braking assessment for 2014 (posted in January 2013)



Two types of active safety systems on wide range of models in 2015

 Toyota lags behind other OEMs in developing a mass-market version of crash preventive safety system for vehicles. However, Toyota was considering the development of an affordable system that may function only in a limited condition, in order to meet the market demand.

 Toyota plans to introduce two types of active safety systems: one for premium models, and the other for mass-market models starting in 2015. The safety system for premium models will be based on the Pre-crash Safety system currently available on the Lexus LS. Toyota will add a newly-developed automated steering for avoiding collisions to the ongoing system. The new system will be expensive and will be available on premium models. The other safety system for mass-market models is based on the new millimeter-wave radar system that was mounted on the Crown Royal and Athlete at the end of 2012. The system reportedly will cost less than a hundred thousand yen.

Two types of active safety system available in a broad range of models starting in 2015

safety system
for premium models
(Collision Avoidance Assist
+ Automated Steering)
 Based on the Advanced Pre-crash Safety System with Collision Avoidance Assist currently available on the Lexus LS, a new system will be developed. The system for premium models will detect pedestrians as well as other vehicles. The system also incorporates the newly-developed automated steering to avoid collision with pedestrian. It activates only when an impact with a pedestrian is judged unavoidable by braking alone and when there is enough space. The system will cost high as it incorporates stereo cameras and millimeter-wave radar and will most likely be limited to premium models.
safety system
for mass-market models
 The safety system for low-cost, mass-market models will be developed incorporating millimeter-wave radar and a monocular camera which is capable of detecting a pedestrian. It will be installed in mass-market models.

 

 



Currently available active safety systems

 Lexus LS has two types of active safety systems available as of early 2014: "Collision avoidance assist type" Pre-crash Safety System and a millimeter-wave radar type Pre-Crash Safety System. The customer may choose one of them. (Details of the pre-crash safety systems are indicated below.) The millimeter-wave radar type is available on more than ten premium models of the Toyota and Lexus vehicles. A new millimeter-wave radar type Pre-crash Safety System featuring an enhanced automated braking function is available on premium models including the Crown Royal and Athlete that were released for sale in December 2012 and thereafter.

Pre-crash Safety Systems currently available on the Lexus LS (Japanese specifications)

Collision avoidance
assist type
 Officially called "the Advanced Pre-crash Safety System with collision avoidance assist". The system features millimeter-wave radar and stereo cameras. It assists a driver in avoiding collisions with a vehicle or a pedestrian in a broad range of speeds from city to highway driving. The system uses near-infrared sensing technology to assist collision avoidance even during night-time driving.
 The system alerts the driver and if the driver fails to take necessary actions to avoid a collision, will assist collision avoidance by using auto-braking at the relative speed at 40km/h or lower. If the vehicle is traveling at a faster speed, the system will use auto-braking and brake-assist to decelerate and mitigate collision damage.
 The optional package including this system for the LS460 is priced at JPY 1,254,750 including tax. The package also includes other advanced technologies such as the full LED headlamps and the Adaptive Hi-beam system.
Millimeter-wave radar type
(conventional type)
 When the system detects a high risk of collision, it increases the braking force by activating the pre-crash brake assist the moment the driver depresses the brake pedal. When the system judges that collision is unavoidable, it reduces the impact speed by activating the pre-crash brake and tightens the pre-crash seatbelt to mitigate the damage of collision.
 The optional package including this system is available with the Lexus LS,GS, HS, CT, RX, Toyota Alphard and Vellfire, Estima, Prius, SAI, Mark X, Land Cruiser, and Land Cruiser Prado as of the beginning of 2014. The package is priced at JPY 147,000 including tax and features radar cruise control as well.
Steering Assistance  When the driver recognizes a potential collision ahead and steers to avoid it, the system integrates controls for the steering and suspensions to stabilize the vehicle and assist the maneuvering. The system is available on the Lexus LS and GS (The system is not Automated Steering).

Newly-developed Pre-crash Safety System currently available on the Crown Majesta, etc.
Millimeter-wave radar type
(a new system with enhanced auto-braking function)
 The pre-crash brake assist increases the braking force when the driver depresses the brake pedal in an event of an imminent collision with another car ahead. The vehicle speed is reduced by about 60km/h maximum when the driver's car is running at 80km/h and the preceding car at 20km/h. The system activates when the vehicle travels at 15km/h or higher, and the relative speed is also at 15km/h or higher.
 The pre-crash brake activates automatically in case the driver fails to depress the brake pedal. The vehicle speed is reduced by about 30km/h maximum when the driver's car is running at 50km/h and the preceding car at 20km/h to avoid collision or mitigate damages.
 As of the beginning of 2014, the system is available on the redesigned Crown Royal and Athlete, Crown Majesta, Harrier, and Lexus IS that were released at the end of 2012 and thereafter.
 The advanced package including this system for the Crown Royal and Athlete is priced at JPY 105,000 including tax. It also includes the Clearance Sonar & Back Sonar, Intelligent Clearance Sonar (to prevent impacts with obstacles or reduce damages), Radar Cruise Control (with brake controls), and the Vehicle Dynamics Integrated Management (VDIM).
 The advanced package for the Crown Majesta is priced at JPY 63,000 including tax. In addition to the Clearance Sonar & Back Sonar and VDIM equipped as standard equipment, the package includes the Intelligent Clearance Sonar and the Radar Cruise Control (with brake controls).

 

Denso bolsters its sensor business

 With expectations of a sharp increase in demand for sensors, Denso Corporation launched new millimeter-wave radar and laser radar systems in 2012. To meet an expanding demand from advanced, nearly autonomous driving technologies to more affordable and lower-speed collision preventive safety systems, Denso presented three packages of Entry, Standard and Premium safety systems at the Tokyo Motor Show 2013 (see MarkLines Market & Technology Report No. 1238).

 The company recognizes that sensors do not provide one-fits-all solutions. Laser radar, millimeter-wave radar and cameras all have their strengths and weaknesses. As a result, premium models are typically fitted with a mixture of sensors for the best available performance. Denso is striving to identify the best combination at the smallest number of sensors.

 

New millimeter-wave radar and laser radar developed by Denso

Millimeter- wave radar  The new millimeter-wave radar, announced in November 2012, has the detection range extended from 151m to 205m. The angle of the radar's detection radius within a distance of 35 meters from the vehicle was increased from ±10 to ±18 degrees. The radar is used in the i-ACTIVSENSE fitted in the redesigned Atenza/Mazda6 released for sale in November 2012.
Laser radar  Denso has developed new laser radar for use as an automotive sensor in the first collision avoidance and impact mitigation system for mini vehicles. The radar is adopted in Daihatsu's collision avoidance assistance system, Smart Assist, which was mounted on the Daihatsu Move released for sale in December 2012.
 The scanning zone and range of the newly-developed laser radar are set for low-speed driving in cities and congested areas. This has led to a simple laser beam emitting design and enabled a compact and low-cost system configuration without affecting the required performances. The laser radar thus contributes to the commercialization of collision avoidance and impact mitigation systems for mini vehicles.

 

 



Automated Highway Driving Assist, AHDA, debuts in mid-2010s

 Toyota disclosed an advanced driving support system, Automated Highway Driving Assist (AHDA), for safer highway and expressway driving. It was exhibited at the ITS World Congress 2013 which was held in the fall of 2013. Toyota revealed its plan to introduce the system to the market in mid-2010s. The AHDA is a new technology that leverages autonomous driving technology. However, Toyota regards it as a system that "helps all drivers drive like skilled drivers under various circumstances" and "contributes to the elimination of traffic fatalities and injuries. The AHDA consists of the Cooperative-adaptive Cruise Control that uses inter-vehicle communication and the Lane Trace Control systems.

Introducing an Advanced Driving Support System, AHDA, in mid-2010s

 Toyota will develop a next-generation advanced driving support system, Automated Highway Driving Assist (AHDA), which uses automated driving technologies to support safer highway and expressway driving. The company plans to commercialize the system in the mid-2010s. It consists of two automated technologies explained below.
Cooperative-adaptive Cruise Control  Conventional radar cruise control uses millimeter-wave radar to detect the distance to other vehicles ahead. The new system uses the next-generation vehicle-to-vehicle ITS communications technology (using 700MHz band allocated by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism exclusively for automotive ITS use). It transmits acceleration and deceleration data of preceding vehicles so that following vehicles can adjust their speeds accordingly to better maintain inter-vehicle distance. It also reduces unnecessary acceleration and deceleration to improve fuel efficiency and reduce traffic congestions.
 The success of the system depends on whether other vehicles will use the same wireless communications technology. Consequently, Toyota is striving to "standardize the transmitters across the auto industry."
Lane Trace Control  The newly-developed system which uses automated driving technologies employs high-performance cameras, millimeter-wave radar and control software. It detects lane markers and the trace of the preceding vehicle to calculate the best line of driving. The system adjusts the steering angle, driving torque and braking force accordingly at all speeds to maintain the optimal line within the lane.
 The Lane Keeping Assist available on the Lexus LS and other models alerts the driver or assists steering during highway or expressway driving at speeds over 50km/h. Meanwhile, the new Lane Trace Control functions at all speed ranges and even at a sharp turn. It controls steering as necessary to keep the vehicle on course.
 According to Toyota, the system requires detailed map of the highway to be commercialized. When the system was unveiled at a demonstration at the ITS World Congress, merging onto a highway, lane selection at diverging points and lane change were performed manually by the driver.


 Toyota has been developing "vehicle-infrastructure cooperative system" that provides the base for automated driving of the future. In 2009, the company released the Dedicated Short Range Communication (DSRC) unit that would start working as soon as the ITS Spot service (DSRC service primarily for use on expressways) started in Japan. In 2011, the company started to sell the HDD navigation system associated with the Driving Safety Support System (DSSS service primarily for use on local roads). In May 2013, Toyota began proving tests of the "traffic-light driving support system" on public roads in Toyota City, Aichi Prefecture.

Proving tests of "Traffic-light driving support system" on public roads

 Conducted as part of the DSSS (Driving Safety Support System). The DSSS system supports the safety of a driver by sending traffic control information (traffic signals, road signs, etc.), and other road conditions in blind areas as well, from traffic infrastructure to vehicles.
 This specific test is conducted in a public road in Toyota City. It uses a 700MHz band to send traffic light signal information to the on-board system which provides such information to the driver by voices and screen displays. In addition to the pre-proven light signal recognition enhancement system, the DSSS collects traffic signal information in consecutive intersections and alerts the driver to start decelerating as necessary. The DSSS is expected to contribute to driving safety and reduction of CO2 emissions as well.

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