Toyota Developing New Technology to Lessen Injuries, Damage in Accidents

By Ed Silverstein July 22, 2011

Toyota is showing off new technology that lets cars take control of steering if a driver cannot avoid a crash, according to media reports. Toyota demonstrated the safety improvements on Thursday at a facility near Tokyo.

The Associated Press explained that having a car stop or slow before a possible crash is not new – but the steering-control technology appears to be ground-breaking. Toyota uses cameras and radar (called “millimeter-wave”) placed in the front of the car to monitor potential accidents, such as a person walking in the street, The AP said.

“The vehicle calculates how braking and steering must be applied to avoid a crash,” Moritaka Yoshida, the company’s chief safety technology officer, told The AP.

Toyota also demonstrated “a pop-up hood,” which rises during an accident to lessen damage/injuries if a pedestrian were struck by a car, The AP said. In addition, Toyota has technology so high-beam headlights could be partially blocked for drivers coming from the other direction. Toyota also is developing a steering wheel that measures heartbeats to prevent accidents when drivers suffer heart attacks. The safety features may be offered in cars soon.

“We must learn from accidents and keep making improvements in safety features,” Yoshida was quoted by The AP.

In other recent company news, TechZone360 reported that AuraPortal, a provider of Business Process Management (BPM), said that Auren, an AuraPortal partner, has implemented an environmental system at Toyota Spain.

The implementation of the environmental system was based on AuraPortal’s BPM suite. The suite lets Toyota Spain improve environmental practices throughout its Spanish dealer network, TechZone360 added.

In addition, Toyota Motor Sales, USA, Inc. will voluntary recall about 45,500 Highlander Hybrid and 36,700 Lexus RX 400h vehicles sold in the United States, according to a recent press release.

The company explains that the Intelligent Power Module (IPM) located inside the Hybrid System Inverter contains a control board with transistors. Certain transistors on the control boards in some of the vehicles were inadequately soldered and could be damaged from heat during high-load driving, the company said.

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Ed Silverstein is a TechZone360 contributor. To read more of his articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Jennifer Russell

TechZone360 Contributor

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