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February 3, 2020

Future Toyotas Will be SUA-Proof with This New Technology

Toyota will begin rolling out a unique feature that pretty much makes their cars SUA proof. Best part? They’ll be offering it as a retrofit kit, at least for vehicles in Japan.

“Acceleration Suppression Function,” as Toyota calls it, is unique because it works even if there’s no obstacle detected in front of the vehicle. Currently, systems such as Toyota’s own Intelligent Clearance Sonar (ICS) will only work when the sensors detect obstacles such as cars or walls.

In 2012, Toyota introduced ICS and today, more than 83 percent of its line-up comes fitted with it. More recently, in 2018, the carmaker launched a retrofit system for certain existing vehicles and by the end of last year, 20,300 owners opted to have the system installed. However, ICS is limited in that it only detected obstacles such as other cars or walls.

Toyota’s newly developed function aims to control acceleration due to abnormal operation of the accelerator even when no obstacles are present. This is done by harnessing big data, analyzing data collected from connected cars to help identify the abnormal operation or the accelerator.

During its development phase, Toyota looked at actual accidents where the cause was determined to be pedal misapplication. They analyzed particularly how the accelerator pedal was pressed. The characteristics of these situations were then compared with big 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. In turn, this allowed for a function setting to control acceleration even in the absence of obstacles.

By combining this new Acceleration Suppression Function with its ICS system, Toyota believes it can further reduce the number of accidents caused by pedal misapplication in parking lots and other areas. Toyota also plans to share the operational logic of this function extensively, including with other auto makers.

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