Advanced automatic safety technology that was once available on only the most expensive new vehicles is about to be included as standard equipment on almost every Lexus and Toyota model and trim level in the USA (25 out of 30 models). Toyota has officially announced that it intends to begin including the Lexus Safety System + and Toyota Safety Sense packages, anchored by automatic emergency braking (AEB), on almost every new vehicle it produces, by the end of 2017.
The two safety systems are designed to help address three key areas of driver assistance: preventing or mitigating frontal collisions, including pedestrians; helping keep drivers within their lane; and enhancing road safety during nighttime driving. Technologies include a pre-collision system, lane departure alert, and automatic high beams.
By making these safety systems standard equipment on almost every model by the end of 2017, AEB technology will be widely available four years ahead of the 2022 industry target announced by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).
Jim Lentz, CEO of Toyota Motor North America explained, “High-level driver assist technologies can do more than help protect people in the event of a crash; they can help prevent some crashes from ever happening in the first place. We are proud to help lead this industry in standardizing these systems and bring automated braking to our customers sooner rather than later.”
25 out of 30 Lexus and Toyota models will include Lexus Safety System + or Toyota Safety Sense as standard equipment. Model-specific target dates for offering these advanced, active safety packages as standard equipment will be announced at a later date. Models that will not offer the systems as standard by the end of 2017 include the Lexus GX, Toyota Mirai, 4Runner, and 86 (jointly developed with Subaru), and Scion iA (developed by Mazda). Mirai and Scion iA currently provide pre-collision including AEB as standard equipment.