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back to article Toyota motors ahead with radar crash avoidance tech

Japanese car giant Toyota is ready to roll out new radar-based collision avoidance technology which could soon see certain high speed crashes a thing of the past. The firm’s Pre-collision System (PCS) uses millimeter-wave radar signals to alert the driver by visual display and warning sound when there is a risk of crashing into …

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Silver badge
WTF?

Given Toyota's previous experience with failing brake systems in the USA ...

I wonder if they should be tinkering with them.

Automation applied to road vehicles can be dangerous in certain situations.

Having driven in weather extremes in Northern Canada (Yukon and Ontario) certain types of precipitation an fool (trick) automatic systems and create situations that are unsafe that might not have without the system.

And what of the system mouse trails? Will they leave evidence in memory that can be used to prosecute the driver as is the case with seat belt triggers in North America? The Ontario Provincial Police regularly seize these modules to determine a drivers actions prior to a seat belt trigger. I removed mine from my SUV in Ontario so the OPP's Sgt. Cam Woolley types are unable to use them,.

P.S. My last 'at fault' accident was over 26 years ago, n case some do-gooder objects.

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Facepalm

Re: Given Toyota's previous experience with failing brake systems in the USA ...

I recall (heh) that much (roughly 2/3rds) of the issues regarding Toyota's "unintended acceleration" recalls involved people who didn't realise the floormat had been pushed forward by their feet. The other issue was a sticking throttle pedal - nothing, whatsoever, to do with the braking system. The only brake issue they've had was with ABS software for the Prius - regenerative braking was delayed momentarily if you hit a bump under brakes. It didn't involve the unintended acceleration lawsuit and TBH you don't strike me as the Prius driving type.

It's not entirely dissimilar to the "unintended acceleration" lawsuits involving Audi back in the 80's - but back then it turned out that people were slamming their foot down on the accelerator thinking it was the brake (not exactly sure how, I think stupidity had a lot to do with it). Considering Americans' history with inability to put their foot on a brake pedal I think this type of tech is not just a good idea, I think it's borderline necessary.

by the way - seatbelts aren't just a good idea for when you hit *someone else*, they're also capable of protecting you when *someone else* hits you. I've never put a point on my licence, and apart from a couple of fender scrapes, never been in an at fault accident (and never had to make an insurance claim). But that doesn't stop some moron in an audi ploughing into me because "the brake pedal looked kinda funny".

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Given Toyota's previous experience with failing brake systems in the USA ...

I wouldn't boast about never having had an 'at fault' accident, statistically you have more chance of it than someone who has.

You are really tempting fate, and fate doesn't like being tempted.

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FAIL

Re: Given Toyota's previous experience with failing brake systems in the USA ...

No he hasn't, back to statistics class, you.

And I fully agree.... I've been in situations where using the brakes to avoid a collision would have resulted in a pretty horrible crash. Sometimes a bit of steering helps more than brakes, certainly if the road is slippery.

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Re: Given Toyota's previous experience with failing brake systems in the USA ...

? Did I interpret the comment as "if you haven't had an accident then you have more chance of having one than someone who has"?

I hope not, if that were true the whole insurance industry will need to reconsider its whole way of analysing accident statistics, and we will need to rewrite several maths books as well.

If there are two people who toss a coin, one has a head, one a tail. There is still a 50/50 chance of each throwing a head next time.

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Meh

Re: Given Toyota's previous experience with failing brake systems in the USA ...

Who said => never having had an 'at fault' accident <=?

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Meh

Re: Given Toyota's previous experience with failing brake systems in the USA ...

YOU are the one who first mentioned => Toyota's "unintended acceleration" <=, I was talkng brakes, for which millions of vehicles were recalled. Try Googling.

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Re: Given Toyota's previous experience with failing brake systems in the USA ...

@petur

Thank you.

When driving in extremes, not those Mickey Mouse conditions that happen occasionally in the UK, the last thing you need is automation of any kind other than non-locking disk breaks.

I have driven hundreds of thousands of miles in extreme conditions. For example, when snow falls and stocks to the road surface, if the temperature continues to drop to -30 or -40 (C or F makes little difference), it is perfectly safe to travel at 80-100 MPH as the snow, unless packed hard, will "dry off' as the humidity is so low. The bare, freshly cleaned road surface is all that is left. Northern Ontario also have an insulation layer of about six feet of white foam under the otherwise normally constructed road. The foam reduces spring temperature cycling which causes roads to crumble.

In northern Ontario it is also common to drive across lakes, in the winter, when even fully laden log trucks cross the water then, although there might be a spacing of 5 miles to allow for stopping.

If you cross a frozen lake in a car/SUV, where there are no trucks, getting off the ice and onto the embankments also requires no automation.

The safest way to drive is to stick your rear end right in to the fold of the drivers seat, tighten the seat belt as hard as possible and then use fully non-auto settings. It's also what the truck drivers do.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Given Toyota's previous experience with failing brake systems in the USA ...

Yawn.... we've all watched Ice Road Truckers where they crash off the road because they drive to fast for the conditions. Whats the relevance of your post when the article states;

"The 3.5 hectare site is fitted with road-side sensors and transmitters designed to help drivers avoid running red lights or hitting pedestrians, and to better detect cars in blind spots. The road-to-vehicle, vehicle-to-vehicle and pedestrian-to-vehicle information networks"

Which is obviously city driving not racing around on frozen lakes.

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Happy

Re: Given Toyota's previous experience with failing brake systems in the USA ...

@Jaitch:

Whilst the wilds of the Ontario wastelands must be beyond the comprehension of us mere driving mortals, and requires the insight and knowledge of a True Driving God (tm), I believe the system being tested by Toyota is directed at urban environments (ie. not traversing a frozen lake in a truck whilst hauling half the forest next to an active volcano during a hurricane). Presumably for situations where you feel the need to traverse a ravine whilst being chased by bloodthirsty indigenous tribes and giving yourself a tattoo, Toyota will provide the option to turn the Pre-Collision system "off".

Also FWIW pretty much every manufacturer has had recalls dealing with an issue that could cause an accident - I detailed the issue Toyota has had with ABS (and it's had no other major recalls "in the millions" in the period from 2009-now involving inability to brake, or failing brakes, so not sure what you're referring to?). I'll take a Toyota over an American SUV any day - at least I won't have to worry about the car flipping out of control on the highway Ford Explorer-style, airbags in my Jeep going off, Sticking throttle in the Ford Escape, engine fire in the Ford Escape, the list goes on... If a recall is an indication that a manufacturer should stop doing something, perhaps the US should stop making cars altogether?

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Mushroom

Sounds good to me, but...

That doesn't help in rush hour traffic, does it? What I need is a millimeter-wave device strong enough to vaporise the traffic in front of me.

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Re: Sounds good to me, but...

mmm, what a nice idea... little button - maybe with a cover over like a planes machine gun button. - then hey presto that nasty lane hogger or the copper with a speed gun, or the lorry spraying mud or that tractor (or for that matter the idiot jcb driver that commutes on the A14) can be removed from existence ... :) and cheaper than a huge tank style gun :) :) :)

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Anonymous Coward

Mixed feelings..

OK, I could see this work if I was a bit tired and not paying attention, but

1 - I have rather extensive driving training (hobby as well as work), of which a large degree is about risk avoidance. From experience, I know that slamming the brakes (the natural reaction of most untrained rivers) is not always the most appropriate reaction so I hope the system is intelligent enough to get out of the way if it realises I'm taking evasive action. Otherwise it kills exactly the grip you need to evade (translated: it kills instead of preventing a kill).

2 - I am not really happy to gamble on the fact that the vehicle behind me can stop in time without a similar system. I see rear end collision risk one of the possible side effects.

I'm happy to be proved wrong, but my experience with anything but ABS is not 100% positive. Even traction control can kill if it cuts your engine when you make a quick U-turn (I nearly had it happen to me, and it is NOT a particularly entertaining experience - since then I only have TC enabled with rain or snow).

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Devil

Re: Mixed feelings..

One has to be careful that safety systems which may protect the driver do not put other people at risk. Whllst air-bags, ABS etc which can made driving safer are mitigated risk compensation. Hence the rise in pedestrian and two wheel casualties.

More effective might be an all electronic system that automatically deducts £100 from the driver's bank account when they drives too close or too fast. I predict a rapid change of behaviour and drop in crashes Toyota could only dream of ...

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This is the Toyota that has just announed a recall of 2.77m cars for water pump and steering faults? Sure, I'll trust their crash avoidance radar...

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The car...

That just rebooted the "final destination" franchise; is a Toyota...

Heres a novel idea, instead of bolting on tech to make up for numptys behind the wheel, how about training them to drive, some these days are confused by the common or lesser spotted roundabout. Not to mention the human brain is faster/more flexible than any computer.

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Re: The car...

Much as I'd love that, you'll never get everyone attentive and skillful at all times. The fleshy meatsack is more prone to blunder than kit is.

Bring on the day human-driven cars are a rarity, says I.

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Anonymous Coward

Shock news.. Car company introduces technology available on rivals for years..

I have purchased 2 cars in the past 2 years, both had emergency braking assist in one form or another, from two different manufacturers... neither of them toyota, and after my last test drive in a toyota, I doubt i will ever buy one...

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Bronze badge

And what if...

... not everything on the road is a car?

Will it detect people/horses/trees?

Will it recognise a corner and the associated barrier?

Will drivers just rely on it and therefore ignore anything not wrapped in a steel cage which is easy to detect with mm wave radar?

Get the cars driving themselves, stop faffing with silly add ons.

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Re: And what if...

Fantastic idea.. Right up to the point some berk installs windows vista embedded in his Prius series 6, what'll the headlines be if it accidently runs down a busload of nuns? "Prius not so pious after all..."?

Almost nothing on the planet is fully automated for good reason - tech failing is a matter of when not if, and to be fair I cannot think of anything less suitable than a car for automation. The human element will be needed for many years yet.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: And what if...

... not everything on the road is a car?

You're absolutely right. I want a list facility where it accelerates rather than brakes:

- mother in law

- Justin Bieber

- Tony Blair

- Parking Wardens

Actually, the latter should be hard wired - no need to explicitly add those to the list unless that causes it to stop with a front wheel on top of their head, lock up all other 3 wheels and then turn the steering wheel left and right a few times.

I'll go and take my meds now, thank you.

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Facepalm

What about auto pilots?

They manage it.

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Silver badge
Facepalm

Ones! It'll slam on the brakes!

Or maybe, if you read the article, it says it'll increase the braking if the car in front slows and you don't brake hard enough to avoid hitting it, or if you are heading towards something too quickly to avoid hitting it, it'll decrease your speed (not bring you to a screeching halt). I would imagine that if a car was fitted with this, it would also have ABS which would prevent it from causing th car to skid - that would be a no-brainer really.

There really are very few situations where a car under control at lower speed is more dangerous than one at a higher speed. As long as this system doesn't cause the car to lose traction, it will mean a safety improvement. Does anyone here honestly believe that the manufacturers haven't thought about the need to maintain traction?

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Mushroom

Dunning, yea, Kruger thereand

These threads are an endless mine of the exact same "zomg deth" comments every. single. time.

They *have* thought of it. Whatever it was. Betcha. Citation needed, especially from any Captain Uber von Driverhoffen van der Stig types. You're still fleshy meatsacks.

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I am pretty sure

this works really well, if all cars are fitted with it, the only glaring fault I can see is the prick behind you who has not noticed your sudden lack of speed and ploughs straight up your rear end, of course, it is then his fault, for not paying attention or having a car with collision avoidance, it may not stop an actual accident, just shifts the burden of fault to someone else

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WTF?

So how is this new again?

This sounds like exactly the same PCS that my Prius V has, which I got in the summer, and the videos about Prius V PCS on youtube on Toyota's channel from January certainly sounds a lot like this. Did they mean to announce this in November last year maybe?

So I am confused.

The ITS stuff sounds new (and clearly isn't available), but the rest doesn't.

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