Safety First

Toyota upping the number of standard safety features on Prius for 2021

Toyota has employed their Toyota Safety Sense technology in a number of vehicles over the last half-decade.

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

Toyota is giving the Prius more standard safety features for the 2021 model year. The fuel-efficient compact car will now have the same safety tech as less-efficient models in the Toyota lineup, but more than many of its competitors.

The 2021 Toyota Prius comes equipped with Toyota Safety Sense 2.0. The suite of safety and driver assistance technology 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

Additionally, Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Cross Traffic Alert and Intelligent Clearance Sonar with Intelligent Parking Assist come standard.

Toyota has designed the Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection system to deliver automatic braking capability should the driver not react in time to an emergency situation.

The safety system isn't the only high-tech upgrade the model is getting. For 2021, every Prius but the Limited trim level have Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability.

Toyota recently celebrated the 20th anniversary of the Prius by debuting the 2021 Toyota Prius 2020 Edition, a special edition that features many of the same black appointments and equipment as Toyota Nightshade models.

The Prius is no longer the only fuel-efficient model in the Toyota lineup. The redesigned Corolla Hybrid, which was launched in 2019 as a 2020 model is nearly as efficient. The redesigned 2021 Toyota Mirai takes that efficiency a step further by using hydrogen to propel it down the road.

Last year, Toyota introduced an all-wheel drive (AWD) version of the Prius in an effort to have the model appeal more to customers in the Snow Belt. The AWD system makes the model more capable in snowy and rainy conditions. The company employed similar technology in the Camry and Avalon for the 2020 and 2021 model year, respectively.

The 2021 Toyota Prius goes on sale later this year.

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Highway safety

U.S. roadway fatalities up in 2021

Ford, Microsoft team to use quantum-inspired technology to understand traffic congestion
Photo coursesy of Ford Motor Company

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has just released its estimates on traffic fatalities for the first quarter of 2021 and the numbers aren't promising. In the first quarter of this year alone, 8,730 people died in motor vehicle crashes. Last year's cumulative numbers weren't much better, coming in higher than any year since 2007.


U.S. Roadways Traffic may be going up, but fuel fill ups are down according to the latest research automotivemap.com


The grim statistics represent a 10.5 percent increase from the same time period last year, a time when we were already marveling at the numbers. Further data reported by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) indicate that the number of vehicle miles traveled (VMT) decreased by 2.1 percent, which makes the increase in fatalities all the more striking a statistic. Initial projections pegged the number of fatalities per 100 million VMT at 1.12, but it instead climbed to 1.26 fatalities per 100 million VMT.

Regionally, most areas in the United Statessaw an increase, though two did not. The Midwest region, which includes Nebraska, Kansas, Iowa, Missouri, and Arkansas did not change, while the mid-east coast states of North Carolina, Virginia, Delaware, Maryland, Kentucky, and West Virginia actually saw a six percent decline in fatality counts.


Highway 1 big sur Highway 1 near Big Sur includes the Bixby Creek Bridge, a famous landmark. Photo by\u00a0Getty Images


What's behind all of this? Last year, the NHTSA reported that, with fewer people on the roads, those that were driving were engaging in risky behavior. What's more, Automotive News reports, that the number of deaths involving people not wearing seatbelts increased 15 percent last year and speeding deaths climbed 10 percent.

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Honda notified dealers of upcoming supply cuts.

Photo courtesy of American Honda Motor Co., Inc

Honda, like all major automakers today, is truly a global operation. Though it produces plenty of vehicles here in the United States, many of the components it relies on for manufacturing come from elsewhere in the world. That means Honda, like the other auto giants, needs its global supply chain operating smoothly in order to prevent disruption. Unfortunately for Honda dealers and potential customers, disruption is what's about to happen. The automaker recently sent a letter to its dealers, forecasting reduced vehicle supply in the coming weeks.


2021 Honda Ridgeline No. 19 - Honda Photo courtesy of American Honda Motor Co., Inc


The dealer letter, posted to the Civic XI forum and fan site, was dated August 25 and confirmed by a dealer upset with the development, according to Automotive News. In the letter, Honda cites the ongoing pandemic and microchip shortages as major factors impacting its production efforts. Total shipments to dealers could be cut by up to 40 percent, but not all models will be affected to the same degree.

The letter noted that supplies of the Pilot and Passport SUVs will hold steady, and shared that production of the Civic hatchback is on schedule. However, the situation is fluid and could change at any time, so there's a chance that timelines could speed up or slack off as necessary.


2022 Honda Pilot Some models will see more cuts than others.Photo courtesy of American Honda Motor Co., Inc


Honda is just the latest in a long line of automakers struggling to keep pace with demand in the face of several converging global crises. In an effort to keep vehicles rolling out of factories, General Motors has implemented selective feature cuts in some of its new vehicles, such as the removal of engine start/stop tech from some trucks and SUVs. Earlier this month, Ford Motor Company told Mustang Mach-E buyers to expect delays of at least six weeks as it grapples with the chip shortage, and will temporarily reduce production capacity at a few of its plants.

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