- Toyota is aiming for zero fatalities in car accidents by equipping its whole lineup with advanced safety equipment and will be training dealers at its Lexus College and University of Toyota facilities, so they'll understand how to sell the safety tech to buyers.
- Upcoming technology includes a navigation screen that can be operated via a tablet in the backseat.
- Dealers will be tutored on the intricacies of Lane Trace Control and 3D head-up display.
ANN ARBOR, Michigan — Toyota is aiming for zero fatalities in car accidents by equipping its whole lineup with advanced safety equipment and will be training dealers at its Lexus College and University of Toyota facilities, so they'll understand how to sell the safety tech to buyers.
Upcoming technology includes a navigation screen that can be operated via a tablet in the backseat.
Dealers will be tutored on the intricacies of Lane Trace Control and 3D head-up display.
However, Toyota's Chief Technology Officer, Seigo Kuzumaki, said the company does not intend to make self-driving cars. An advanced driving support system will be available to U.S. customers "in the mid-decade," Toyota said.
Toyota will roll out an Automated Highway Driving Assist system that integrates dynamic cruise control, Lane Trace Control, and what Toyota calls a Predictive and Interactive Human-Machine Interface, or HMI, that monitors the driver's hands on the wheel.
Toyota demonstrated a central navigation screen at an advanced safety seminar here that can be operated by the front passenger when the car is in motion or even via a tablet in the backseat that can send route updates to the main screen in front.
A 3D head-up display provides what Toyota calls "groundbreaking" technology to show traffic, road sign, and vehicle status information on the windshield without the driver needing to wear special 3D glasses.
Lane Trace Control calculates "an appropriate driving path and automatically adjusts the vehicle's steering angle," Toyota said.
This new way of looking at in-vehicle technology means that customers will have some adapting to do when they shop for a new car.
As Kuzumaki said: "The pace of advancement can be confusing for some customers."
That's why Toyota spokesman John Hanson told Edmunds that dealers will be brought up to speed at the automaker's training facilities, the University of Toyota and Lexus College, just as they were when the Toyota Prius was first introduced.
He said dealers were uniformly enthusiastic to the idea of safety technology on cars when they were updated at the national dealer meeting in Las Vegas last month.
"We'll inform and train dealers and staff on the technology prior to launch," Hanson said.
Toyota's Collaborative Safety Research Center (CSRC) is engaged in research that will extend to the end of the decade, but Toyota said Wednesday it will start rolling out new active safety and communication technology to its vehicles in 2015.
Edmunds says: When dealers and drivers fully understand how these active and passive safety systems can help them, they should be even more interested in owning the latest technology.