Curb Your Acceleration: Aging Drivers Spur Toyota Into Action
A rising number of elderly drivers — and pedal misapplication crashes — in its home market has compelled Toyota to engineer a solution.
The automaker announced Monday that a new “acceleration suppression function” combining data collected from real-word driving and its existing Toyota Safety Sense suite of driver-assist features will determine, and intervene, when a driver hits the wrong pedal.
While it’s not the first time Toyota has attempted to reduce damage and injuries stemming from pedal misapplication, it’s by for the most comprehensive. In 2012, the automaker introduced Intelligent Clearance Sonar (ICS), though that system only worked when the car’s sensors detected objects nearby — like garage walls, for example.
The new system works without objects nearby, Toyota claims.
After analyzing crashes in which the accelerator pedal was (accidentally) depressed fully, the automaker then delved into data collected from connected cars. “By eliminating instances where it was determined that drivers were genuinely required to rapidly accelerate intentionally, such as when turning right or accelerating from a temporary stop, Toyota was able to identify and compute instances in which the accelerator was operated abnormally,” the automaker stated.
“In turn, this allowed for a function setting to control acceleration even in the absence of obstacles.”
Toyota plans to share details of the system with other automakers. While the company plans to add the feature as an option this year, it can be retrofitted into older vehicles outfitted with the necessary driver-assist functions. The Japanese home market comes first, though Automotive News reports that other global markets will follow.
In Japan, incidents of unintended acceleration caused by pedal misapplication are on the rise. The number of drivers aged 75 or older killed behind the wheel rose from 381 in 2007 to 791 last year, Toyota claims. Pedal misapplication is suspected in the majority of those crashes.
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- Kwik_Shift Important consideration when choosing your next vehicle. Its not only your own death, or of your passengers, but the possible lifetime of crippling injuries.
I doubt any of the unintended acceleration has been in cars w/ mt. So, just require that all cars have manuals. I know... too low tech :)
Ban automatic transmissions and make it harder for old people to renew their license.