Toyota has unveiled new technology aimed at preventing low-speed parking accidents and high-speed rear-end shunts.
Intelligence Clearance Sonar is able to detect obstacles outside the driver's line of sight when parking and automatically apply the brakes if there is a risk of a collision.
"Designed to be particularly useful when negotiating a car park, it will sound an alarm, reduce engine power and apply the brakes," the company says.
The other new safety technology is called Drive-Start Control and according to Toyota the system senses that the wrong gear has been selected when the driver is applying the throttle. It will flash up a warning and reduce engine output to limit a sudden start or acceleration.
This, Toyota says, can help, for example, when a driver reacts to hitting an object while reversing by making a quick shift to a forward gear while still pressing the accelerator pedal.
Toyota is set to introduce both systems in future vehicles.
In the high-speed rear-end crash scenario, the automaker has come up with a Collision Avoidance Assist in its Pre-Crash safety system.
"This version of PCS – a technology already featured on a number of Toyota and Lexus models – uses a millimetre-wave radar to monitor the risk of collision with a vehicle ahead. If it detects an impact risk, it triggers an alarm and warning display to alert the driver to apply the brakes. When the brake pedal is pressed, the system will increase the braking force to up to twice the average level achieved by drivers. This can slow the vehicle down by up to 60km/h. If the driver fails to step on the brakes, the system will automatically deliver deceleration.''
Toyota's analysis of traffic accident data shows that more than 90 per cent of rear-end collisions happen when the difference in speed between two vehicles is within 60km/h, so it set out to engineer a system based on this intelligence to deliver industry-leading safety performance.
The technology is being prepared for use in forthcoming models.
Do you text while driving?Related story: New radar gun to catch texting drivers
Gear up for that big holiday drive
Tips on how to do a safe river crossing
On the road and prepared for the cold snap