Toyota To Debut New Safety Tech On RAV4 Hybrid SUV

This Thursday, Toyota will be showing off more than the first hybrid version of its RAV4; the carmaker will also be introducing a new safety system that will soon become available fleet-wide.

Toyota announced today that the RAV4 Hybrid will be the first of its models outfitted with the new safety system. The technology address three factors that are vital for avoiding a collision: driver’s awareness, decision making and vehicle operation.

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The base package Toyota Safety Sense C (TSSC) – already available in Corollas slotted for the Japanese market – will soon be available in the U.S. as an optional package on compact models for about $300.

The package features a pre-collision system that first warns the driver of a potential accident, then provides additional braking when the driver reacts. If the driver fails to slow down, brakes are automatically applied.

“Automated braking operates at relative speeds of between 7- 50 mph for potential collisions with pedestrians, and can reduce speed by approximately 19 mph,” said Toyota.

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Also included in the TSSC package is a warning for lane departures and smart headlights, which automatically adjust between high and low beam settings.

Toyota has also developed an augmented version for its mid-sized and premium models. The Toyota Safety Sense P (TSSP) adds a pedestrian pre-collision warning and dynamic cruise control to the base package and costs about $500.

After its launch on the RAV4 Hybrid, TSS will become available on the regular RAV4, the Avalon and three other models later this year.

“The safety packages will be offered as a very-low-cost option and will be systematically introduced across nearly all U.S. Toyota and Lexus models and trim levels, top-to-bottom, by the end of 2017,” said Jim Lentz, President and CEO Toyota Motor North America.

“Pushing these systems across our lineup, as quickly as possible, can help protect people in the event of a crash. More importantly it will help prevent some crashes from ever happening in the first place.”

SEE ALSO: Automakers: Safety Tech Should Count Towards CAFE Credits

At the Lexus reveal of its fourth generation of the RX crossover on Wednesday, the brand will be launching its own Lexus Safety System (LSS).

“We certainly expect the proliferation of these features to continue throughout the luxury vehicle market and our Lexus lineup as the industry remains steadfast in the pursuit of enhanced vehicle safety,” said Jeff Bracken, Lexus Division group vice president and general manager.

The name changes slightly for Lexus models from TSS to LSS, but the technology remains essentially the same. The option will become available on four models later this year (not yet announced) and will cost between $500 and $635.