Toyota + Lexus Safety Sense Systems
Toyota, and its luxury brand, Lexus, debuted what they're calling the first steps on the way towards some level of autonomous car control. This is important — there's a broad belief that even when and if cars can "drive themselves," how will we know when that's a safer option than driving ourselves? So Toyota's making safety systems more affordable. The first suite of electronics debuts on the 2016 RAV4 Hybrid, which debuted in New York; the new 2016 Lexus RX gets a more upscale suite of technology, and both Lexus and Toyota will get these technologies across the board over the coming year. Among several systems is a camera/laser combination that warns the driver of an impending crash. If the driver does nothing, TSSC can stop the car from speeds of 19 mph, and at up to 50 mph, can shave off 19 mph, reducing the likelihood of a fatality. The Lexus system can stop the car from 25 mph, and likewise, can shave up to 25 mph from a higher-speed collision. There's more to the suites, including lane-departure warning systems, which we've seen before, and pedestrian detection up to 50 mph, which is a breakthrough. The cost will vary by model, but at roughly $300-$600, it's a huge price drop for this level of semi-autonomous control, and as the largest carmaker in the world, could lead to broader adoption of such systems.