Toyota Motor Corp. says it has developed a system for detecting rear-end collisions before they happen, part of its Integrated Safety Management Concept that combines several new safety technologies. The pre-collision system consists of a radar device installed in the rear bumper that detects a vehicle approaching from behind. Sensors in the front headrests detect the position of the driver's and front passenger's heads, and shift the headrests' position to reduce the risk of whiplash injury. Hazard lights also start flashing to warn the driver of a possible crash from behind. Toyota President Katsuaki Watanabe said a sophisticated computer like "a human brain" will be installed in the new Lexus LS460 luxury model going on sale in Japan in September with safety features such as the rear-end pre-crash system. Another new safety feature developed by Toyota detects pedestrians or oncoming cars and other obstacles in front of the vehicle. The system uses a newly developed stereo camera that can detect information on three-dimensional objects. When the system detects a pedestrian or other object in front of the car, the seatbelts retract. If the driver fails to brake, pre-crash brakes kick in to reduce speed. Other systems in the Integrated Safety Management Concept include a Lane Departure Warning, Parking Assist, Blind Corner Monitor, Radar Cruise Control and VDIM Brake Assist.
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