By on November 12, 2012

Yesterday, we showed you how Toyota is going to help protect its customers from fender benders and more serious accidents, while it is at least trying to protect itself from people and lawyers who look for a deep-pocketed company to blame for their own shortcomings. Yesterday, I risked life and limb to personally test these systems on behalf of TTAC’s readers. Today, we bring you the pictures.

The systems seem to be ready for prime time. I walked away with my life, but only with one picture. As chronicled yesterday, more picture-taking was foiled by a representative of another automotive website – he swears it was an accident.

Toyota graciously offered (thank you, KC) the exclusive services of their Toyotashi-based in-house photographer Naoki Sumino. What follows is original Sumino artwork.

In the parking lot

This is supposed to be a mock-up parking lot of a Seven-11. While ogling pretty ladies, I am about to back into a wall.

Sonar becomes aware of my stupidity. The system notices that I am distracted by the fairer sex, and stops the car.

Now for the more harrowing part: I want to drive out of the parking lot, but accidentally, I am in reverse. I hit an obstacle. I freak …

… and I throw the shift lever into drive, with my foot still on the gas. The car lurches forward. The system detects the anomaly, and slows the car. Phew.

Everything but pedestrian

Open season for pedestrians, BS is on the prowl! “Officer, I could not see the guy, he walked right in front of my car!”

The system detects him, and brakes the car much faster than I could react. Should personal contact become unavoidable, a pop-up hood would cushion the impact.

The dummy will live another day.

A blind date with death

En-route to my next adventure, I sit in a blind spot. Go, or no go?

The system sees what I can’t see: Another car is coming. Thataways.

Good call! No T-bone today. (Note: This system requires on-site support, a pole and a few cameras. Recycled red light camera’s anyone?)

High speed pursuit and happiness

Car chase! A game that everybody loves. I barrel down the road, intent on rear-ending an Auris.

Actually, it’s a clever decoy.

As hard as I may try to hump the car in front of me, the system won’t let me. Getting perilously close to the Auris, the system slams the brakes …

… and the Auris remains unharmed. Close, but good call.

Mountainview, Japan

This is the Mount Fuji picture we promised you yesterday. The mountain grows right in the back yard of Toyota’s tech center. Toyota handily beats all other tech centers in the most scenic view department. Among other things.

TTAC expresses its gratitude to Sumino-san and all the people at Toyota for making this, and especially the pictures, possible.

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14 Comments on “How Toyota Kept Me From Maiming And Killing. Now With Pictures...”

  • avatar
    Felis Concolor

    I can think of no better use for red light cameras than being repurposed to a task where they reduce accidents.

  • avatar

    I am agree with u Mr.Felis concolor

  • avatar

    Beautiful picture of Mt. Fuji, Bertel. And thanks for the interesting post.

  • avatar

    Let me at that track. I’ll ‘kill’ those cardboard cutouts even if I have to force the car into a lateral drift.

  • avatar
    Athos Nobile

    I don’t like the electronic nannies, but the t-bone detector one is a good idea. Sadly it would need the $afety cameras and $urely more fee$ to make it work.

    Seen already (live) a couple of nasty accidents like that here.

  • avatar
    Athos Nobile

    Let’s recap: electric power steering, ABS, fly-by-wire throttle, active CC, side blind zone detection system and automated parking.

    To all that, I add the massive amount of people I see everyday glued to their iSocial devices… while driving.

    I can only guess how long it will take to remove the human factor once the customer trusts what the machine is doing.

    For the record, I prefer to drive the bloody thing myself.

    • 0 avatar
      Freddy M


      Agreed wholeheartedly. Perhaps we are dinosaurs. Perhaps in the not too distant future, autonomous automobiles actually will reduce collisions and injuries/fatalities.

      But all I know is that right now, today, the human factor is EVERYTHING. And we as a collective are failing miserably at being accountable for our own actions, and relying too much on this nanny tech.

  • avatar

    carjackers in 3rd world countries are celebrating….

    Driving in Brazil at night, my wife has specifically asked me to evade peds rather than slow down/stop in bad areas/night.

    I hope it’s possible to disable this system if you want.

    • 0 avatar


      some years back there were several incidents where a gang would block in someone at a “7-11” parking lot and then carjack them. I’ve specifically instructed my wife to use her car as a battering ram in such a scenario – never mind any damage to the vehicle – run over anything and everything to get out of the lot and back on the street.

      Now in most cases all the above is brilliant and beneficial technology, right up till you start discussing the criminal element.

      Also, modern garages are rather tiny, the front bumper of my car is within inches of the wall just to get the door closed. How would the system interpret that?

      • 0 avatar

        The pre-collision detection (applies brakes, tightens safety belts, beep warning to driver) on my Prius v has a toggle to turn it on or off. I’d be sure to be familiar with the location of the button if I were in a seedy area.

  • avatar

    Is the purple car in the photos a new Crown?

  • avatar

    Surely these technologies are going to be at price-premiums for consumers, and, in the case of Toyota, won’t likely be offered on anything short of an Avalon or Highlander Hybrid Limited, but I wonder if they will pay off in insurance savings…

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