Toyota Motor Corporation has announced that it has developed a new Acceleration Suppression System, in addition to its existing system, to help further deter serious accidents and reduce damage caused by misapplication of the accelerator pedal.
On July 1, Toyota launched this system as "Plus Support" for new cars and added the function in the "Pedal Misapplication Acceleration Control System II" retrofit device for use with existing cars.
In 2012, Toyota introduced Intelligent Clearance Sonar (ICS) for new vehicles and since 2018, had launched a retrofit "Pedal Misapplication Acceleration Control System" for existing vehicles.
These existing systems help prevent accidents caused by accelerator pedal misapplication when sensors detect obstacles such as a wall or glass. According to data confirmed by Toyota, ICS helps prevent roughly 70 percent of all potential accidents that could occur due to accelerator pedal misapplication. However, new technologies needed to be developed to reduce the remaining number of accidents, including accidents in situations where obstacles are absent.
At the development phase this time, Toyota first looked at actual accidents where the cause was determined to be accelerator pedal misapplication, particularly analysing situations where the accelerator pedal was pressed fully. The characteristics of these situations were then compared with big data collected from Toyota's connected vehicles. 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 of accelerator pedal misapplication. In turn, this allowed for a function setting to reduce the number of accidents caused by accelerator pedal misapplication by controlling acceleration even in the absence of obstacles.
The Plus Support system is being included in Prius and Prius PHV models launched on July 1, and will gradually be rolled out to other models.
Plus Support starts automatically when the vehicle doors are unlocked using a Plus Support Smart Key (dealer option, starting from 13,200 yen, tax included) for customers with concerns about driving. Even if obstacles are absent from the vehicle's course, this system detects accelerator pedal misapplication and suppresses acceleration.
In addition to ICS, which detects obstacles, suppresses acceleration, and applies brakes, Plus Support aims to further deter serious accidents and help reduce damage caused by misapplication of the accelerator pedal.
When the vehicle's doors are unlocked using a conventional key, Plus Support is not activated, and driving can be performed as usual.
The Pedal Misapplication Acceleration Control System II will be available in Prius models. This product adds acceleration suppression functionality to the existing "Pedal Misapplication Acceleration Control System," suppressing acceleration when pedal misapplication is detected, even if there are no obstacles in front of the vehicle.
In addition to the functions offered by existing systems that suppress acceleration when an obstacle is detected in front of the vehicle and suppress acceleration when reversing, this system aims to deter serious accidents and reduce damage caused by misapplication of the accelerator, regardless of whether any obstacles are present when reversing.
Toyota has improved the function while revising the system configuration, resulting in a product that costs 17,600 yen less than the existing product.
This system conforms to the performance certification system developed by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism in April 2020 for retrofit pedal misapplication acceleration suppression systems.
By combining its existing ICS and retrofit device functions with the Acceleration Suppression function, Toyota believes it can further reduce the number of serious accidents caused by pedal misapplication in parking lots and other areas. This will enable customers, especially those worried about possible pedal misapplication accidents, to enjoy greater safety and security.
Toyota is not developing and selling these functions for Toyota vehicles alone, but has extensively shared the operational logic of the Acceleration Suppression function with other Japanese auto makers.