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.

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Toyota's ready to make a big announcement.

Photo courtesy of Toyota Motor Corporation2

Auto Shanghai has another surprise in store. Toyota will debut an electrified vehicle next week and ahead of that moment, the company has leaked teaser photos and video featuring the model on its social media channels.

One of the posts, available on Twitter and Instagram, showcases the vehicle and a series of conceptual, perhaps inspirational, related items. A light shines as a reflection in an eye. A design on paper leads to a math equation. A laser, perhaps a plasma cutter, is focused on an object. Watch the see the rest.


It passes by quickly, but in there is the shape of a crossover. We've captured the moment in a still photo below so you can take a longer look. From the body design quickly shown here, the SUV is shaped more like the Toyota Venza than the Toyota RAV4. The key here is the rear side window, which is more triangular, like the Venza, than the squared-off RAV4''s.

202 The shape of the vehicle is similar to the Toyota Venza.Photo courtesy of Toyota Motor Corporation

2022 Toyota Venza EV

The face of the vehicle, shown in another social media post (this time on Instagram) and at the top of this article, shows a pared back vehicle face. The height of the vehicle confirms that it's in fact a crossover body style.

We do know that Subaru and Toyota have been working on an electric SUV for a while. While Subaru is likely calling the vehicle "Evoltis" there's some indication that Toyota may be reviving the "Celica" name for the EV. Batteries, after all, are made up of cells.

As of right now, we have to take the wait-and-see approach. One thing's for sure. We'll know more next week.

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The new Maps+ app will allow drivers to use a navigation system who had not previously purchased navigation.

Photo courtesy of General Motors

General Motors is giving its vehicles a new navigation solution. Maps+, an in-vehicle, app-based way-finding program, will begin rolling out to approximately 900,000 model year 2018 and newer Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac vehicles by the end of 2021, starting on April 30.

"We know customers want an easy and convenient in-vehicle experience that improves over time," said Santiago Chamorro, GM vice president of Global Connected Services. "We listened to customer feedback and developed a product that works seamlessly with our current infotainment systems and provides a highly personalized experience that will iterate throughout the lifetime of the vehicle."

Maps+ was developed in partnership with Mapbox. The new app replaces navigation functionality in already-purchased vehicles that had purchased a navigation system. It provides navigation functionality to drivers of vehicles that did not opt for navigation at the onset.

The new application features Alexa build-in voice control that allows users to listen to music or podcasts using the system's integrated audio apps. A search box allows users to find points of interest, shops, restaurants, parking, and more. There is also embedded speed alert, low fuel recognition, predictive keyboard entry, day and night modes, category shortcuts, rear-time traffic routing, and dynamic mapping capability.

"Our obsession is the driver," said Peter Sirota, CEO of Mapbox. "The map is the canvas for providing the driver with a delightful, easy-to-use experience. From discovering new places to avoiding traffic on your commute to paying at the pump or the plug, Maps+ lays the foundation for an excellent navigation experience. We are excited to build upon this with GM to continue to drive adoption."

GM and Mapbox are committed to continuing Maps+ post-launch, developing new features and improvements based on feedback and metrics.

Maps+ will be available on select vehicles through Connected Vehicle, Premium and App Access subscription plans. Current eligible Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac owners will be notified when their vehicle is eligible for Maps+.

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