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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New hot hatch

Toyota teases GR Corolla hatchback

The Instagram teaser contains many hints at the new GR Corolla.

Toyota

Toyota isn't always top of mind when it comes to performance cars, but the Japanese giant has a few tricks up its sleeve. There's the Supra, which the automaker partnered with BMW to produce and there's also the not-for-the-U.S. GR Yaris. The hotted-up hatchback features tremendous power and a four-wheel drive system, but buyers here can only watch jealously as our friends in Europe and elsewhere get all the fun. That's about to change for U.S. buyers, however, as Toyota has begun teasing the GR Corolla hatchback, which we will get.

The automaker posted a cryptic image to Instagram a month ago, but it's still making the rounds on the internet today, with users of the GR Corolla Forum still discussing the post today. The teaser, which is of the Corolla's interior, features hints as to what we might see when the car debuts. The navigation screen shows GR Four road, which points to the car's four-wheel drive system, while a G:16 on the clock in the gauge cluster represents the G16E-GTS engine that the car is expected to get. The GR Yaris also sports that engine, where it produces 268 horsepower and 266 pound-feet of torque.

Toyota GR Corolla GR, or Gazoo Racing, is Toyota's motorsport armToyota Europe

The GR Corolla should break cover next year, but we don't yet know if it will be a 2022 or 2023 model. As far as pricing goes, Toyota may pull out some surprises, but the car will likely be far more expensive than an everyday Corolla. The smaller GR Yaris is priced starting at nearly $40,000 in Europe, so the Corolla's price tag should be around or slightly above that number.

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The CX-50 features body cladding and rugged styling.

Mazda

Mazda's got a busy 2021 and 2022 as it gears up to release several new vehicles. The first is almost here, and today the automaker shared preliminary details. The CX-50 is an all-new SUV that shares a platform with the Mazda 3 and CX-30.

2023 Mazda CX-50 Production begins in January 2022. Mazda

At first, the CX-50 will be offered with Mazda's 2.5-liter four-cylinder engines, one of which is turbocharged, but electrified powertrain options will join the lineup down the road, including a traditional hybrid. Both gas engines come with a six-speed automatic transmission and standard all-wheel drive. A new drive mode select system is also standard that allows the driver to change the CX-50's behavior to match road and driving conditions such as towing and off-roading.

2023 Mazda CX-50 A new drive mode selection feature allows the driver to change vehicle behavior. Mazda

The new SUV's styling is a departure from the norm for Mazda, whose typical designs are sleek and elegant but far from rugged. That changes with the CX-50. Mazda installed beefy fender flares, body cladding, and a chunky front bumper that make the SUV look ready for the trail. New colors debut with the CX-50 as well, including Zircon Sand for the exterior and a terracotta upholstery option for the interior. The SUV will be the first Mazda to be offered with a panoramic sunroof.

2023 Mazda CX-50 New color schemes are available for both the interior and exterior. Mazda

We don't have full pricing or options details yet, but Mazda says that the CX-50 will be built at the facility in Huntsville, Alabama that it shares with Toyota. Production is scheduled for January 2022.

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