Toyota Safety Sense

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Toyota Safety Sense™

The best way to protect against collisions is to prevent them from ever happening. Injurious collisions often occur due to a delay in a driver’s recognition of an unfolding situation that could pose a threat to safe driving. At high speeds, reaction times—and margins of error—are measured in scant seconds. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported there were nearly 5.7 million reported incidents of car crashes in 2014. Many of them could have been avoided.

Toyota Safety Sense™ (TSS) is designed to protect drivers and passengers from harm. The TSS-P version is even designed to protect pedestrians. TSS consists of advanced active safety packages. Chief among these are automated pre-collision warning and braking. TSS is our latest technological achievement in keeping with our long record of creative, innovative approaches to promoting safety; helping protect people and prevent crashes.

The Big Three

TSS works to protect you and your passengers from the three most common types of vehicular accidents. Frontal collisions, collisions caused by drifting out of one’s lane, and accidents related to reduced visibility at night account for a majority of accidents. TSS tackles these problems head on through three crucial approaches, with integrated systems:

1)         Preventing or mitigating frontal collisions

2)         Keeping drivers within their lane

3)         Enhancing road safety during nighttime driving

TSS supports driver awareness to promote good decision making and safe vehicle operation. The system works over a wide range of speeds under certain conditions. Of course, TSS is not a substitute for attentive driving. Drivers should always drive safely, obey traffic speed limits and laws, and focus on the road while driving.

Two Packages

Toyota Safety Sense will be offered on certain vehicles in the form of two packages: Toyota Safety Sense™ C [TSS-C] for compact vehicles, and Toyota Safety Sense™ P [TSS-P] for mid-sized, large and premium vehicles.

Toyota Safety Sense™ C

This system integrates three active safety technologies available exclusively from Toyota. The system combines camera and laser telemetry to enhance performance and reliability. Under certain conditions, the system can help prevent collisions—or minimize damage when collision do occur.

Pre-Collision System (PCS)—Vehicle Detection

During hard braking,  Anti-lock Brake Systems (ABS) help prevent a vehicle’s brakes from locking up. Without ABS, braking would be less efficient and less effective. ABS uses magnetic wheel-speed sensors to determine when hard braking is occurring. ABS intervenes by temporarily, rapidly, and repeatedly releasing—and optimally reapplying—brake pressure. This enhances the driver’s ability to steer and maintain control over the vehicle during hard braking. See the Owner’s Manual for a list of situations in which the system may not operate properly.

Toyota Safety Sense™ C -PCS combines a laser and an in-vehicle camera to “see” the front of your vehicle. There is a limit to the degree of  recognition accuracy and control performance the system is capable of providing, so drivers should not overly rely on the system. The system will not prevent collisions or lessen collision damage or injury in every situation. Do not use PCS instead of normal braking operations under any circumstances. Do not attempt to test the operation of the pre-collision system yourself, as the system may not operate or engage, possibly leading to an accident. In some situations, such as when driving in inclement weather (for example; heavy rain, fog, snow or a sandstorm), or while driving on a curve and for a few seconds after driving on a curve, a vehicle may not be detected by the laser and camera sensors, preventing the system from operating properly.

Lane Departure Alert (LDA)

Lane Departure Alert is a system designed to notify a driver if they unintentionally drift out of their lane while driving. The system automatically detects unplanned lane departures and issues an audio and visual alert. These alerts notify drivers to check their surroundings and carefully make any necessary corrections with the steering wheel, to safely return the vehicle to the center of the lane.

LDA is designed to function at speeds of about 32 MPH or greater on relatively straight roadways. The system may not operate under all possible conditions. Refer to your Owner’s Manual for a list of additional situations in which the system may not operate properly.

LDA employs an in-vehicle camera to detect painted lane markers in front of the vehicle. The vehicle’s multi-information display shows the system’s operating status:

  • If the space between displayed lines is empty, this indicates the system is temporarily unable to detect lane markings; one or both sides of the system may be temporarily disabled.
  • The space between the displayed lines is filled (usually white) indicates the system is working, and is able to detect lane markings.
  • The inside of a given line will flash (usually orange) when the vehicle is drifting out of its lane and the LDA system has detected the error. This is the driver’s Visual Alert to make a steering correction.

Automatic High Beams (AHB)

The third prong of the TSS system is AHB. AHB is a safety system designed to help you see better at night, without interfering with approaching drivers’ night vision. Using your vehicle’s high beams at night can enhance visibility on dark roads, but drivers must take caution not to dazzle drivers of oncoming vehicles.

When you activate your high beams at night, AHB automatically detects oncoming headlights from approaching vehicles and turns off your high beams until it is safe to turn them back on again. The system uses an in-vehicle camera to detect oncoming headlights and the taillights of preceding vehicles. The system is designed to work at speeds of 25 MPH or higher. Minimum speed may vary by vehicle.

Toyota Safety Sense™ P

Toyota Safety Sense™ P combines millimeter-wavelength radar and an in-vehicle camera to enhance performance and functionality. With TSS P, you get the three active safety technologies included in TSS-C, plus TSS-P enhances the Pre-Collision System by adding a Pedestrian Detection function. It also enhances LDA by adding a Steering Assist function on certain models. And finally, TSS-P adds Dynamic Radar Cruise Control.

Pre-Collision System (PCS) with Pedestrian Detection Function—Vehicle and Pedestrian Detection

Vehicle Detection: The PCS gives an audible/visual alert when it determines that the risk of a frontal collision is high. The driver may take evasive action and brake. If the driver brakes, the system may provide additional braking force using Brake Assist. The system may provide more braking force than expected in relation to the amount of brake pedal pressure applied. Under some circumstances, the system may automatically apply the brakes when an imminent collision is determined to be extremely likely. This may give the driver time to minimize the effects of impact, or in some cases, avoid collision. (Refer to Owner’s Manual for additional information).

Pedestrian Detection: Under certain conditions, the PCS included with TSS-P may be able to detect pedestrians and warn the driver in time to brake or otherwise take evasive action. This warning consists of an audio and visual alert, followed by the engagement of brake assist when a collision appears to be imminent. Brake assist may engage if the system determines that the driver is not applying the brakes quickly enough to avoid collision with the pedestrian. Refer to your Owner’s Manual for more details about the system.

The PCS portion of Toyota Safety Sense™ P makes use of front grille-mounted millimeter-wavelength radar in concert with an in-vehicle camera to detect the vehicle in front of you on the road. The in-vehicle camera calculates the presence of a potential pedestrian by monitoring the size, profile and motion of a target. The system may, however, fail to detect a pedestrian, depending on certain conditions, including the surrounding brightness and the motion, posture, size, and angle of the potential detected pedestrian. Alerts related to vehicle detection operate between speeds of approximately 7 to 110 MPH, these alerts are designed to notify a driver if a preceding vehicle is to close to follow safely. Pedestrian alerts operate at speeds between 7 to 50 MPH.

Vehicles with TSS-P PCS Vehicle and Pedestrian Detection: If pre-collision brake function is automatically engaged, stopping the vehicle, the brake will remain engaged for about two seconds. Afterwards, the “pre-collision brake hold” command will be cancelled, allowing the driver to resume motion, if necessary. The driver should determine whether

Applicable to TSS-P PCS Vehicle and Pedestrian Detection: If the vehicle is stopped by the operation of the pre-collision brake function, the operation of the pre-collision brake hold will be canceled (brake will be released) after the vehicle has been stopped for approximately two seconds to allow the vehicle to move, if necessary. The driver of the vehicle must then determine whether it is appropriate to apply the brake, or gas pedal, depending on conditions.

Also, drivers of vehicles with TSS-P PCS Vehicle and Pedestrian Detection should be aware that the pre-collision braking function may fail to operate depending on certain actions performed by the driver. For example, if the gas pedal is depressed forcefully, or the steering wheel is being turned, the system may interpret these actions as evasive, and fail to engage the pre-collision braking function. Even if this automatic braking has engaged, it may be cancelled if the accelerator is pressed hard, or the driver is turning the wheel; the system will determine that evasive action is being taken. Refer to your Toyota Owner’s Manual for additional information on PCS operation, setting adjustments, limitations, and precautions.

Dynamic Radar Cruise Control (DRCC)

When traveling on the open highway, DRCC complements traditional cruise control by helping the driver maintain a consistent speed. The system adds an additional element of safety, by detecting the speed and distance of preceding vehicles (vehicle-to-vehicle distance control mode) and adjusting your own vehicle’s speed (within a set speed) to help maintain a pre-set distance from a preceding vehicle, when that vehicle suddenly begins traveling at a lower speed. If the preceding vehicle slows even more, the system may operate the brakes and taillights, further reducing your speed. If no vehicle is detected before you, the system will accelerate again, to achieve the originally set speed. Refer to your Toyota Owner’s Manual for additional information on DRCC operation, setting adjustments, limitations, and precautions.

DRCC uses an in-vehicle camera and front grille-mounted millimeter-wavelength radar to detect the presence of a preceding vehicle and to estimate its distance from your own vehicle. Vehicle-to-vehicle distance can be selected by you by operating the vehicle-to-vehicle distance control. By pressing the button you will be able to choose from among three vehicle-to-vehicle distance settings: Long – Medium – Short.

DRCC functions at speeds of approximately 25 to 110 MPH, but you must be traveling at least 28 MPH before the system operates. Beginning with certain 2016 Prius models, select Toyota vehicles may also feature the new Full-Speed Range DRCC. This enhanced system is designed to operate at speeds below 25 MPH. Full-Speed Range DRCC functions at about 0 to 110 MPH. Full-Speed Range DRCC may enable low-speed following, speed matching, stopping, and acceleration/deceleration when following a preceding vehicle.

Lane Departure Alert (LDA) with Steering Assist Function (Electronic Power Steering (EPS) Equipped Models)

The LDA alert function operates the same on vehicles with TSS-P and TSS-C. When the system detects that a driver may be drifting out of their lane, the system issues an audio and visual alert. This notifies the driver to check their surroundings and safely make any necessary corrections with the steering wheel. In addition to this alert function, vehicles equipped with TSS-P with EPS will also provide Steering Assist. If the system detects that the vehicle may be unintentionally departing from its lane, it may provide small, brief corrective steering inputs to the steering wheel to help keep the vehicle in its lane; provided the system is so equipped and has been enabled.

LDA is designed to operate at speeds of about 32 MPH or higher on fairly straight roads. The multi-information display (MID) on the vehicle’s console will display system status:

  • If the system is unable to detect lane markings, there will be a blank between the display lines on the MID display. This indicates the system is temporarily disabled on one or both sides.
  • If the system is working (able to detect lane markings on both sides) the inside of the lines will be filled-in with white.
  • When an alert is occurring, you will see flashing (usually orange) light on the relevant side.
  • The area outside of the affected line will flash (usually green) when Steering Assist has been engaged.


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