Toyota has announced two newly developed safety systems - intelligent clearance sonar and drive-start control - as part of initiatives aimed to eliminate traffic casualties.

Recent data has shown that, in Japan, approximately 7,000 collisions occur a year as a result of pedal misapplication, especially in areas such as parking lots.

Intelligent clearance sonar uses sonar to detect obstacles hidden from the driver's view, automatically applying the brakes if the vehicle is at risk of collision.  rive-start control controls engine output to mitigate collisions that may occur as a result of erroneous gear shifting or pedal misapplication while the vehicle is stationary or moving at low speed.  Both systems are planned for launch in upcoming vehicles.

When the clearance sonar detects an obstacle the vehicle is at risk of colliding with, such as a wall, when starting off in a parking garage or other similar environment, the system sounds an alarm, reduces engine or motor output and automatically applies the brakes.

If the vehicle gear stick is erroneously shifted when the accelerator pedal is applied, or if other abnormal gear shifting is detected, a warning is displayed and engine or motor output is reduced to limit sudden starts or acceleration.

For example, if while reversing in a parking lot, a driver unexpectedly strikes an object, the driver may become startled and shift gears from reverse to drive while continuing to press the accelerator.  Drive-start control reduces engine or motor output if such an instance is detected.