New Toyota Lexus Detects Pedestrians, Applies Brakes
The new Toyota Lexus is designed to reduce the number of accidents involving pedestrians. The LS460 Lexus, slated for release in fall 2006, will be the first in the industry to implement “pre-crash safety,” a driving support system that recognizes pedestrians and automatically applies the vehicle’s brakes.Current Lexus models, and other cars with equivalent functions from competitors can detect leading vehicles and automatically apply the brakes, or detect pedestrians and notify the driver of pending danger, but this is the first car to actually recognize pedestrians and automatically brake. The pre-crash safety system implemented in the Toyota LS460 Lexus uses images from two cameras (stereo) and the information from the millimeter-wave radar determines the position of objects, including pedestrians, and their distances from the car.
If the danger of collision is high enough it alerts the driver, and if the driver then applies the brakes, braking force is doubled by the system automatically. If the driver does not apply the brakes in spite of the alarm and the system judges that a collision is unavoidable, it automatically applies the brakes. The objective is to reduce vehicle speed by as much as possible to minimize the injury or damage caused by the impact. About 7,000 people die in traffic accidents every year in Japan, and at least a third of these are pedestrians.