Lexus LS460 incorporates the latest preventive safety technology and in doing so has achieved the mantle of ‘the safest car in the world’ title. Boasting collision safety technology and pre-crash safety technology that so far hasn’t made it’s way into a production car until now.
The Lexus LS460.
The ‘Pre-crash Safety System’ adopts an obstacle detection system, a driver monitor, steering evasion support, and rear pre-crash safety systems to inform the driver of the danger of the collision, and to secure the vehicles stability when crash evasion is employed, and to decrease the collision speed if necessary. All these functions are applied the brakes automatically.
The obstacle detection system reads information from both the shortwave radar at the front of the vehicle and the dual ‘stereo camera’. The stereo camera that adopts a near-infrared radiation CCD is set up in the top of the fornt windscreen about 35cm apart. The near-infrared radiation CCD is irradiated from the near-infrared radiation projector long range beam and combined, they all project forward to the same area and can detect objects with an ‘image data process’. As a result, pedestrians etc. can be detected even at night.
The ‘stereo cameras’.
Also in a world first, the steering wheel can be overidden if an imminent crash is detected by the pre-crash safety system by use of gearing set up in conjuction with the shortwave radar and near-infrared CCD. The steering override system only secures the posture and stability of the vehicle, so when the pre-crash sensors judge that there is danger of a collision, the chassis balance can be optimized. The effect is subtle and does not shake the steering wheel about furiously as some might imagine.
In addition, the infrared camera (made up of 6 near-infrared high beam LED’s) that monitors the driver is set up in the steering wheel column cover, and the direction of driver’s face is detected regardless of day or night with an image processing computer. The infrared camera facing the driver can react faster in the event of a collision, thereby warning the driver (if his face is turned away from looking to the front) by means of a collision warning buzzer and dash lights.
Another world first is the rear pre-crash safety system. The possibility of the rear-end collision is judged by distance, relative speed, and the direction, etc. with the vehicle behind detected with the special shortwave radar set up in the rear bumper. A hazard lamp is first flashed when the possibility of a crash is high, and attention of the driver is directed to the vehicle behind. The injury sustained when the headrest of the driver’s seat snaps forward when there is a possibility to a collision from behind can be avoided somewhat too, as the system reduces the impact velocity of the car behind by moving out of the high impact zone and/or speeding up.
The shortwave radar, stereo cameras and near-infrared CCDs working to detect an object.
An active steering wheel integration control was added to the steering called VDIM (Vehicle Dynamics Integrated Management). It is a sort of ballast and sensor in the front wheel along with the brake control system and is controlled in cooperation with VDIM to govern the behavior of the vehicle. For instance, when cornering and the car oversteers, VDIM applies the brakes to four wheels, then makes an electric power steering and VGRS (changeable steering wheel angle compared to the steering angle applied by the driver) cooperate and at the same time controlling the engine power, and also automatically counter steering to regain stability.
The driving support system includes the ‘lane keeping’ assistance, radar cruise control (with a function that can follow of the velocity of cars in front), and intelligent parking assistance.
This pic shows the display when radar cruise control is set.
The radar cruise control operates from high speed operation to low speed such as the in congested traffic situations and the sudden slow down situation that might occur on the high speed expressway. The position and the lane used by the car in front is recognized by information gathered from the shortwave radar and the stereo cameras, and it stops at an appropriate distance with the car in front.
An intelligent parking system which uses proximity sensors as well as the rear facing camera both work in conjunction to parralel park the car when parralel parking is selected. The vehicle moves slowly moves back at a creeping pace, and the driver should use the brakes at any time if a complete stop is desried. When the parralel park in confirmed by the driver by using the touch screen prompt, the steering is released and normal operation is regained.