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How Does a Safety Sense System Work in a Toyota SUV? – Here’s What You Need To Know

How Does a Safety Sense System Work in a Toyota SUV? – Here’s What You Need To Know

You never know what may occur on the road each time you get behind the wheel. Safety is always the number one priority when driving. Good thing carmakers continuously make an effort to develop and equip vehicles with features to assist in driving safely. Most Toyota SUVs have Toyota Safety Sense (TSS) System. The TSS is a bundle of innovative and active safety features developed to help protect the driver and the passengers from harm. 


 

Overview

Toyota Safety Sense is the carmaker’s marketing brand for its suite of safety technologies. It is developed to protect the driver and passengers inside the car and at the same time pedestrians, cyclists, and people or other vehicles on the road. TSS helps in safe driving by aiding the driver in decision making, in operating the vehicle, and in being aware of the surroundings through the simultaneous use of various safety systems. The TSS is designed to address the 3 most common accidents that drivers face: frontal collisions, unintended lane departure and nighttime accidents through its suite of active safety and driver assistance systems. 

 

Crossovers and SUVs that have Toyota Safety Sense Standard:

  • Toyota C-HR
  • Toyota Highlander / Highlander Hybrid
  • Toyota Land Cruiser
  • Toyota RAV4 / RAV4 Hybrid
  • Toyota Sequoia

Here are features of the Toyota Sense System and how they work:

TSS Pre-Collision System With Pedestrian Protection

The Pre-Collision System (PCS) operation relies on the front grille-mounted millimeter wave radar for (TSS-P, TSS 2.0) or windshield-mounted laser system (TSS-C) and in-vehicle camera to help determine if there is a vehicle or pedestrian in front of you. This is created to help you reduce or avoid a potential collision. If the system detects a probable collision, it would prompt you to take action through audio and visual alerts. If you notice a likely collision and apply the brakes, PCS w/ PD may apply extra force using Brake Assist (BA). If you fail to brake in time, it may automatically apply the brakes to minimize speed so as to help reduce the probability of a frontal collision or mitigate the severity of unavoidable crashes. 

 

It is important to note that the PCS is only an assistant to safe driving and is not a system that will avoid collisions under all circumstances. You should not depend on the system or use it in place of emergency brake operation. Also, PCS may not operate if it does not detect a vehicle or pedestrian ahead of you. It is not designed to recognize animals or other objects. Conditions like a dirty, fogged, tinted or broken windshield or snow, ice, rain or sticker-covered camera, laser or grille-mounted millimeter may affect the functioning of the PCS. Inclement weather or intense light from the front can also obstruct radar or laser detection or camera which in turn affects the operation of the PCS. 

 

Other things that can affect PCS operation are changes to the vehicle itself, its height or angle from towing or loading over the max limit, suspension or lift kits or tire modifications/chains. Moreover, if a preceding vehicle is not correctly detected, unnecessary driver alerts or automatic braking may happen, so the driver should need to pay close attention to the conditions around, the travel direction and location of the vehicle on the road. Drivers are ultimately responsible for their own safe driving, speed, braking, steering and operation, and distance to the vehicle in front at all times. (Note: Vehicles that have TSS 2.0 may also detect a bicyclist, other than a vehicle or a pedestrian).

 

This feature is found on most Toyota models standard but older model years may have it available as an option. 

 

Applicability: Toyota Safety Sense™ C (TSS-C) | Toyota Safety Sense™ 2.0|  (TSS 2.0)Toyota Safety Sense™ P (TSS-P) 

 

TSS Bicyclist Detection

The in-vehicle camera works with a radar sensor or a laser sensor to help detect a bicyclist in front during daylight conditions. Audio and visual warnings will then prompt you to take action if collision is likely to happen. 

 

TSS Dynamic Radar Cruise Control (DRCC) or Full-Speed Range DRCC

Full Speed Range Dynamic Radar Cruise Control is intended to be used on highways and is similar to “constant speed” cruise control. The DRCC allows you to drive at preset speed. It makes use of vehicle to vehicle distance control, adjusting your speed to help in keeping a present distance from vehicles in front of you that are driving at a slower speed. A front-grille-mounted radar and an in-vehicle camera work together to detect vehicles and their distance. This is how DRCC works. 

 

In case the driver is traveling slower than you or within your preset range, DRCC will automatically reduce the speed of your vehicle without the deactivation of cruise control. In case the DRCC detects that you need to reduce your speed more, you will be notified through an audio or visual warning/alert and brakes will then be applied. The DRCC will also just accelerate to your preset speed once there is no longer a vehicle that is driving slower than your preset speed ahead of you. Standard DRCC is designed to run between 25-110 miles per hour and has a minimum set speed of 28 mph. 

 

It is important to note that the DRCC is not designed for traffic conditions that are encountered when driving on roads other than highways and expressways. Drivers need to continue to pay attention to the distance between vehicles, respect the preceding vehicle and surroundings, and accelerate or decelerate to maintain a safe distance between their vehicle and the preceding or following vehicles. Conditions like dirt, snow, rain, ice, film or sticker-covered/broken front Toyota emblems that block the camera or radar may affect the function of the DRCC.

 

Applicability: Toyota Safety Sense™ 2.0 (TSS 2.0) | Toyota Safety Sense™ P (TSS-P)

TSS Full-Speed Range Dynamic Radar Cruise Control

The Full-Speed Range DRCC enables matching speed, low-speed following, and in certain conditions, stopping before colliding with the vehicle in front of you on highways. It is designed to operate between zero to 110 miles per hour. This feature is only available for models with an automatic transmission.

 

Lane Departure Alert (LDA)

Under certain conditions, Lane Departure Alert is developed to detect lane departure on roads with visible lane markers. LDA activates when the driver is traveling at a speed of 32 miles per hour or higher. When you see and hear the alert, after thoroughly checking the road around you, you must safely direct your car back to the center of your lane. 

 

The operation of LDA is dependent on the in-vehicle camera’s ability to see clearly and identify visible lane markings on relatively straight roads and the visibility of lane markers themselves. Hence, LDA does not run if it cannot detect visible lane markings. Conditions like broken, foggy, tinted or dirty windshield or rain, ice, snow or sticker-covered windshield that block the camera may affect its operation. Moreover, if lane markings cannot be correctly identified, there are cases where unnecessary driver alerts may happen, thus, the driver also needs to stay vigilant to the surrounding conditions, the travel direction and location of the vehicle on the road. Drivers are still ultimately responsible for steering input and operation of the vehicle at all times. (Note: Vehicle models that have TSS 2.0 can also detect curbs and road edges aside from lane markers.)

 

Available On: Standard on all vehicles equipped with TSS

 

Applicability: Toyota Safety Sense™ 2.0 (TSS 2.0) | Toyota Safety Sense™ C (TSS-C) | Toyota Safety Sense™ P (TSS-P) | 

 

Steering Assist

The Steering Assist functionality is included in Toyota vehicles equipped with Toyota Safety Sense P (TSS-P), Toyota Safety Sense 2.5, or Toyota Sense 2.0 and Electronic Power Steering (EPS). When the system is activated, it can detect unintentional drifting and may automatically make minor corrective steering inputs to help keep the vehicle in its lane. 

 

Road Edge Detection

 

This safety feature scans for the boundary between the side of the road (grass, soil or curb) and asphalt. It helps keep the driver in their desired lane. If the system detects that you are not doing corrective action, the Steering Assist will initiate and give gentle corrective steering to help keep your vehicle in the lane.

 

Automatic High Beams

This safety system feature is made to help drivers see more clearly during nighttime without distracting other drivers. The Automatic High Beam depends on an in-vehicle camera to identify the headlights of oncoming vehicles and taillights of preceding vehicles, and it automatically adjusts or switches between high and low beams accordingly. It is made to activate at speeds above 25 miles per hour. Through the frequent use of high beams, the safety system may allow earlier detection of obstacles and pedestrians. This feature comes standard on all vehicles equipped with TSS.

 

Conditions like broken, fogged, dirty, or tinted windshield or snow, rain, ice or sticker-covered windshield blocking the camera may affect the operation of AHB. Drivers are ultimately responsible for keeping attention to their surroundings and directly confirming the safety of their surroundings by turning high beams ON and OFF manually when necessary.

 

Applicability: Toyota Safety Sense™ P (TSS-P) | Toyota Safety Sense™ C (TSS-C) |Toyota Safety Sense™ 2.0 (TSS 2.0) 

 

Lane Tracing Assist (LTA)

When lane markers are visible and the Full-Speed Range Dynamic Radar Cruise Control is enabled, Lane Tracing Assist (LTA) make use of the lines on the road and vehicles in front of the vehicle to help keep the vehicle centered and at the same time display the vehicle’s position on the MID screen. This particular safety system was developed to lessen driver strain and increase convenience. It also helps drivers most during traffic jams, but it can be turned off using the MID. You would need to have an automatic transmission to avail of this safety system feature as this is not available with a manual transmission. 

 

It is important to note that the LTA system is developed for driving on expressways and highways. LTA is not made for, and must not be used in traffic conditions that are encountered when driving on roads other than highways and expressways. Keep in mind that the driver must always be attentive and responsible when driving even with an active LTA, otherwise an accident may happen. 

 

LTA does not work if it cannot detect visible marked lanes or a preceding vehicle. Drivers must continue to pay attention to the distance between vehicles and surroundings. They must also decelerate or accelerate to make sure the distance between their vehicle and the preceding and following vehicles is safe. Conditions like broken, fogged, dirty, or tinted windshield or snow, rain, ice or sticker-covered windshield or anything blocking the Toyota emblem radar sensor and/or the in-vehicle camera may affect the operation of LTA. Moreover, changes to the height or angle of the vehicle because of suspension or tire modifications/change may affect the efficacy of LTA. 

 

There are instances where unnecessary driver alerts may happen. This occurs when lane markers are not correctly detected. Hence, drivers must continue to pay attention to the surrounding conditions, location of the vehicle and the travel direction even when LTA is activated. Drivers are ultimately responsible for vehicle operation and steering input at all times. 

 

Applicability: Toyota Safety Sense™ 2.0 (TSS 2.0) 

 

Road Sign Assist (RSA)

 

Road Sign Assist is designed to bring added awareness when driving. It operates through the in-vehicle camera’s ability to see clearly and identify select preceding road signs (e.g. speed limit signs, stop signs, yield signs, and do not enter signs), and visibility of the select preceding road signs themselves. RSA displays them on the MID. Conditions like broken, fogged, dirty, or tinted windshield or snow, rain, ice or sticker-covered windshield blocking the camera may affect the operation of RSA. The same as other safety system features, you are still ultimately responsible for paying attention to your surroundings and you should always directly confirm the accuracy of posted road signs even when the RSA is active. 

 

Applicability: Toyota Safety Sense™ 2.0 (TSS 2.0)