• Toyota collision avoidance system in development
  • System helps drivers avoid crashes
  • Can help prevent higher-speed crashes

New tech from Toyota will help drivers avoid crashes. The Pre-Collision System uses radar to detect possible crashes, then helps drivers slow down accordingly. Unlike many systems, it can even help prevent high-speed crashes.

Toyota says the Pre-Collision System uses radar to detect vehicles. If it detects a pending crash, the system alerts drivers to brake. Once the driver applies the brakes, the Pre-Collision System helps by increasing brake power. Should a driver not try to stop, the system will brake anyway, though it won't use as much force.

Interestingly, the Pre-Collision System won't stop a vehicle. Instead, it slows cars by up to 38 miles per hour--that's because more than 90 percent of rear-end crashes happen when the difference in speed between front and back vehicles is within 38 miles per hour. So the system won't save drivers every time, but it will help in the majority of cases.

The system can also slow vehicles at high speeds. While similar systems--like Volvo's CitySafe--only work at low speeds, the Pre-Collision System won't. Instead, it helps slow cars at any speed.

Toyota has not specified what vehicles will use the Pre-Collision System. But Toyota says it was "developed to be used in a wide variety of models." Toyota also revealed it will be rolled out in the near future on new vehicles. That's good news for Toyota dealers and loyal buyers, since many rivals already use similar tech. For example, the Ford Explorer and Fusion offer a similar system. General Motors also uses similar technology on the popular GMC Terrain and Chevrolet Equinox.

What it means to you: The new Toyota collision avoidance system improves safety.

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Jeffrey Archer is fortunate to have turned a passion for cars into a career. His wide-ranging automotive experience includes work for automakers and dealers in addition to covering the news. When not writing, he spends his time searching for unique cars on AutoTrader.com.

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