Low-Cost Automatic Braking? Toyota Says You Betcha


Automatic braking is about to become more affordable and accessible to everyone, thanks to Toyota.

The automaker has just announced pricing for its new low-cost automatic braking Toyota Safety Sense system that will be available as an option across almost all of its models, including its Lexus brand.  The cost is only $300 to just under $1000 as an available option, depending on the trim level, but yes, all under $1000 bucks. The price tag is hundreds to thousands of dollars underneath what competitors charge for similar braking systems.

This is a big deal because it means technology is getting cheaper and once one automaker figures out a way to lower costs, others are bound to do the same, which is a good thing for everyone on the road.

“Taking high-level driver assist to the next level, the safety packages will be offered as a very-low-cost option and will be systematically introduced across nearly all U.S. Toyota and Lexus models and trim levels, top-to-bottom, by the end of 2017,” said Jim Lentz, President and CEO Toyota Motor North America. “Pushing these systems across our lineup, as quickly as possible, can help protect people in the event of a crash.  More importantly it will help prevent some crashes from ever happening in the first place.”

The Toyota Safety Sense system is centered around a pre-collision braking system that will be available on three different trim levels: one for compact cars, another for midsize and premium, and a third for its Lexus luxury brand.

The first Toyota vehicles to get it will be the new RAV4 Hybrid and Avalon. They’ll get the middle of the road system dubbed Toyota Safety Sense P (TSS P). It pairs a camera with a precise millimeter-wave radar.  You get automatic braking capabilities, plus the system can also detect pedestrians.  It also comes with Automatic High Beam and Lane Departure Alert.

Toyota’s smaller, compact cars will have the Toyota Safety Sense C (TSS C) option. It gives you the basics, like Automatic High Beam and Lane Departure Alert, along with automatic braking. But it uses a laser radar instead of the TSS P’s millimeter-wave radar, and does not detect pedestrians.

The Lexus Safety System+ (LSS+)  is reserved for the the luxury brand. The new RDX will be the first to get it, and it will show up in more models by year’s end. It also uses a camera and millimeter-wave radar for its vehicle and pedestrian pre-collision system, lane departure warning and lane keep assist, automatic high beam, and auto cruise control.

“At Toyota, we believe that the ultimate desire of a society that values mobility should be the eventual elimination of traffic fatalities and injuries,” said Bob Carter, Senior Vice President – Automotive Operations at Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A. Inc. “Studies indicate that advanced active safety technologies can have a profound effect on automotive safety.  Toyota is proud to expand the availability of these technologies – and to do so at an excellent value proposition for our customers as well.”

Toyota says it plans to roll out the system in nearly all of its makes and models by the end of 2017.

Photo Credit: Toyota
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