TOYOTA
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January 22, 2008

 

Toyota Enhances Pre-crash Safety System with Eye Monitor
Tokyo — TOYOTA MOTOR CORPORATION (TMC) announced today that it has given its Pre-crash Safety System the ability to determine—as a world's first1—whether a driver's eyes are properly open.  TMC expects this driver-monitoring breakthrough, along with the system's current ability to determine the direction of the driver's face, to play an important role in reducing collision-related damage.

The eye-monitoring feature, which is to be offered in vehicle models scheduled for launch in Japan in the near future, uses a driver-monitoring camera and image-processing computer to determine the position of the driver's upper and lower eyelids.  If the Pre-crash Safety System senses that a collision is imminent and also determines that the driver's eyes are not properly open—or, by using the hitherto face-monitoring feature, determines that the driver is not facing forward—it issues a warning to the driver earlier than it would without such driver-condition information.

TMC believes that the development of driver-condition evaluation technologies is vital to improving overall vehicle safety performance, as driver condition is seen as a key factor in traffic safety, with driver error being the main cause of traffic accidents2.  TMC is, thus, committed to continuing development of such technologies and to further enhancing its Pre-crash Safety System and other safety technologies.

As a part of its efforts to realize sustainable mobility, TMC intends to strengthen its traffic safety initiatives in the future through: 1) the development of even safer vehicles and technologies based on TMC's Integrated Safety Management Concept3, 2) participation in the creation of a safe traffic environment and 3) activities designed to educate people in traffic safety, thereby contributing to the complete elimination of traffic casualties, which can be viewed as the ultimate hope of a society that values mobility.

1. As of December 2007, according to TMC survey.
2. According to a 2005 report by Japan's Institute for Traffic Accident Research and Data Analysis.
3. TMC's safety technology and vehicle development concept, aimed at realizing vehicles that do not cause accidents by combining safety technologies and systems to provide optimal driving support based on actual driving conditions.



Outline of Pre-crash Safety System Eye-monitoring Feature

Outline of Pre-crash Safety System Eye-monitoring Feature


Sequence of System Operation
The system issues a warning to the driver earlier than usual, if it senses that a collision is imminent and determines that the driver is not facing forward or that the driver's eyes are not properly open.

Sequence of System Operation


For reference: Chronology of Previous Pre-crash Safety System Development
When What
February
2003
Development of world's first Pre-crash Safety System employing millimeter-wave radar to detect objects and other vehicles on the road, helping reduce impact damage.
August
2003
Pre-crash Brakes, which deploy when the driver fails to react in time, added.
July
2004
"Image fusion" method, which combines camera-obtained image information with millimeter-wave radar information, adopted.
March
2006
Steering column-mounted camera for determining the direction of the driver's face adopted, allowing driver condition information to be considered along with information on vehicles and other roadway obstacles.
September
2006
Improved millimeter-wave radar and newly developed stereo camera for detecting pedestrians and supporting driver emergency collision evasion maneuvers added, as well as rear millimeter-wave radar to detect vehicles approaching from behind.

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