Safety First

Toyota Safety Sense 2.0 delivers new safety and driver assistance tech to 2021 model lineup

The Toyota Highlander is just one of the vehicles in the Toyota lineup that comes standard with a host of safety technology.

Photo courtesy of Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A., Inc.

Toyota has been on the forefront of getting advanced safety technology onto their vehicles, even in the base model. Until recently, this was unheard of for some brands, even in the luxury space.

For the 2021 model year, the Japanese automaker is upping the ante, delivering Toyota Safety Sense 2.0 to the masses. It includes:

  • Pre-Collision System with Low-Light Pedestrian Detection
  • Full-Speed Range Dynamic Radar Cruise Control
  • Bicyclist Detection
  • Lane Departure Alert
  • Automatic High Beams
  • Road Sign Assist
Below is a more information about each aspect of the system.

Pre-Collision System with Low-Light Pedestrian Detection

This integrated camera and radar system is designed to help reduce the likelihood of colliding with a preceding car or pedestrian. It is designed to help avoid or reduce the crash speed and damage in certain front-end collisions only. Its effectiveness is determined by a number of factors including speed, distance, and environmental and road conditions.

The pedestrian detection aspect of the system is designed to detect a pedestrian is ahead of the vehicle. If an impact with that pedestrian is imminent, the car will work to reduce its speed to minimize the effect of a possible impact.

Full-Speed Range Dynamic Radar Cruise Control

This high-tech cruise control uses radar located behind the Toyota badge on most vehicles, plus a camera on the windshield. Together, they work to adjust the vehicle speed, helping maintain a preset distance between your vehicle and the car in front of you. The system is able to be used at speeds under 110 mph, including low-speed follow.

Bicyclist Detection

This aspect of the system works similarly to the way Toyota's pedestrian detection works. It is paired with the technology of the pre-collision system to lessen the impact of a collision where possible.

Lane Departure Alert 

Using a camera on the windshield, the vehicle's safety system is able to alert a driver when it senses that the car has veered from its lane. However, it's only designed to read visible lane markers under certain conditions. Visual and audible alerts are provided when the lane is detected as being departed from.

Automatic High Beams

This technology is just as it sounds. A camera on the vehicle's windshield aids nighttime driving by using a camera to detect headlights and taillights of preceding vehicles. It then toggles accordingly between high and low beams, depending on what is right for the situation.

Toyota's automatic high beam technology only operates in speeds above 25 mph. Certain environmental factors and vehicle condition requirements must be met to make the technology operational.

Road Sign Assist​​

This technology also uses a forward-facing camera at the front of the car. Road Sign Assist is designed to detect speed limit, stop, do not enter, and yield signs. It then displays the signs on the multi-information display in front of the driver. If the vehicle is equipped, the signs can also be shown in the head-up display.

Trending News

Nuts & Bolts

 
 

Thought the 2021 Toyota Corolla Cross just debuted in Thailand, it could be slated to come to the U.S.

Photo courtesy of Toyota Motor Corporation

Let's face it, the Toyota CH-R was never really supposed to be a Toyota. The model, destined to be a Scion, had its life's direction altered when Scion closed up shop and parent company Toyota merged select members of its lineup with the Toyota line. For the last three years, the model has been doing its damnedest to escape the Scion mold, but hasn't. It remains the odd duck in the stable, not delivering the high-quality interior, good handling, and capability that earns the brand sufficient praise.

Enter: the Toyota Corolla Cross. Though its name doesn't quite invoke the feelings, of "Why? Whhhhhhyyyy?" that the Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross moniker does, the Corolla Cross name is clearly a strategic move meant to capitalize on the one already worn by one of the best-selling cars of all time.

2021 Toyota Corolla Cross

Photo courtesy of Toyota Motor Corporation

Marketed as "Corolla Meets SUV", the Corolla Cross looks like it executes at every level. It rides on the same TNGA platform as the Toyota Prius, Prius Prime, C-HR, and Corolla, and the Lexus UX. That architecture make the slightly longer and taller Corolla Cross spacious with class-leading cargo room for its class.

Though the model is undoubtedly going to be modified a smidge if it comes to America, Toyota has outlined its highlights as part of its launch in Thailand.

The Corolla Cross makes much of its looks from the RAV4, but it's a copy. It's a natural progression of the design language, the same way the Highlander is. Toyota notes that this design allows for an "impressive rearview".

A new torsion-beam suspension delivers a cushioned ride. Toyota notes that the Corolla Cross is easy to maneuver and has a tight turning circle.

Toyota is selling the front-wheel drive model with a traditional gasoline-powered engine setup and as a hybrid. These variants are similar to the Corolla and Lexus UX in the States.

The gasoline-powered model has a 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine that delivers 140 horsepower and 129 pound-feet of torque. The hybrid model returns 122 total system horsepower. Both engines are paired with a CVT.

The interior has good headroom and wide door openings. These are similar characteristics to the modern Corolla.

Toyota has already trademarked the Corolla Cross name for the U.S. according to Car & Driver. The model, which would fill a slot in Toyota product plans that were leaked earlier this year, may be the vehicle set to be made at the end joint Mazda-Toyota plant that is under construction in Alabama. It would fill the gap between the C-HR and RAV4 in the Toyota lineup, and compete directly with the Kia Seltos and Hyundai Kona.

Trending News

 
 

The Audi A7 will be available later this year in a plug-in hybrid format.

Photo courtesy of Audi AG

Audi has revealed the third plug-in hybrid in its lineup, the 2021 A7 55 TFSI e, a powerful option for executive car buyers. It joins the Audi Q5 TFSI e and Audi A8 TFSI e as the only PHEVs in the company's U.S. lineup.

The A7 gets its power from a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that is paired with an electric motor and seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. The car has a total system output of 362 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque. All-wheel drive is standard.

Audi's new sedan can run as a hybrid or on all-electric power. Drivers can utilize the vehicle in three drive modes: hybrid, EV, and Battery Hold. Hybrid mode is activated automatically when the navigation system is issuing guidance in order to optimize battery power and reduce fuel consumption. In EV mode, the car exclusively uses battery power up to a certain speed. Battery Hold mode utilizes the car's powertrain to keep the battery capacity at its current level.

2021 Audi A7 55 TSFI e Photo courtesy of Audi AG

The A7 holds its lithium-ion battery under the rear cargo area of the sportback sedan. Final EPA-estimated fuel economy and range numbers are pending. The 14.1-kilowatt-hour battery features 104 pouch cells with a voltage of 381 volts.

Audi's predictive efficiency assist technology adjust the vehicle's behavior to save on fuel. According to the automaker, ". Detectable haptic feedback from the accelerator pedal and a visual signal in the MMI and head-up display indicate the proper time to let off the accelerator to use as much kinetic energy as possible."

The model comes standard with Audi's S line exterior package, which includes specific front and rear fascia designs, fender badgers, and illuminated doorsill inlays. The car also has Matrix-design LED headlights, high beam assist, quad-zone automatic climate control, Audi advanced key, Audi Virtual Cockpit, ad PHEV-specific displays within the infotainment system and cockpit. It rides on 20-inch Audi Sport five-twin-arm wheels wrapped in all-season tires.

The roster of standard features continues with audible low-speed exterior e Sound, a top view camera with Virtual 360 view, Integrated Toll Module, the Audi MIB 3 infotainment operating system, heated front seats, and leather upholstery for all five passengers.

A variety of packages are available.

Audi Virtual Cockpit now displays speed reductions, including those for speed limits, tow signs, curves, downward slopes, traffic circles, intersections, and highway exits.

The fresh version of the A7 can be charged at any SAE J1772 charging station or at home. Audi has partnered with Amazon Home for home charger installation should a vehicle buyer decide they want to install a charger at their residence. Charging can be monitored via the myAudi app.

The 2021 Audi A7 TFSI e starts at $74,900, a $5,000 increase over the base gasoline-only A7 55 TSFI. It will be available in Premium Plus and Prestige trim levels (the traditional A7 55 is available in three, including the lower grade Premium offering).

Audi says that customers who purchase purchasing the 2021 Audi A7 55 TFSI e will be eligible for a federal tax credit of up to $6,712. Additional state incentives may also be available.

The model is expected to arrive in dealerships later this year.

Trending News