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Lexus drivers continue to benefit from Lexus safety technologies
Posted: Mar 27, 2019
Just in case you missed it this winter, make sure to check out Lexus’ hilarious safety spoof, the Lexus Quarterback Safety System+ (complete with airbag-deploying “QB Cocoon”). Humor aside, the video actually underscores something Lexus has always taken very seriously since its first 1989 vehicle—your personal automotive safety.
In fact, Lexus has poured so much brain power into safety technologies over the last three decades that it’s now considered a leader in automotive safety tech. Here’s why:
1. For starters, there’s Lexus’ enormous real-world driving simulator: This hangar-size simulation lab allows Lexus engineers to navigate a 360-degree digital driving environment while using a real Lexus, so safety systems can be tested, retested, and refined. From the driver’s POV, the simulator recreates a digital world around the vehicle, then tilts and glides over an intricate track system to accurately represent real-world turning, braking, and accelerating up to 186 mph.
2. A Lexus crash-test dummy system so advanced it’s shared globally: Called the Total Human Model for Safety*, this digital crash-evaluation system can measure the potential effects on passengers in more detail than a typical crash-test dummy—it can even indicate potential bruises and scrapes.
3. Help sent automatically when needed: In models equipped with Lexus Safety Connect*, the system is designed to send an automatic alert to a response center agent whenever the vehicle’s airbags* deploy. After attempting to speak to occupants, the agent will notify local emergency services and direct them to the vehicle’s location. (Side note: Lexus airbags are so advanced, they’re designed to detect the seat-track position of the driver and front passenger and deploy accordingly.)
4. Sophisticated camera systems—including one that helps drivers see around corners: We’re referring, of course, to the Lexus GX’s optional Wide-view Front and Side Monitor system*, which is designed to offer enhanced visibility around blind corners. And then there’s the Panoramic View Monitor*, available with several models, which provides a 360-degree bird’s-eye view of the vehicle environment, as well as the backup camera* with digital gridlines.
5. Safety systems designed to help prevent or mitigate accidents: These are called “active safety” systems, and every 2019 Lexus model comes standard with an active safety package—Lexus Safety System+* or Lexus Safety System+ 2.0*, depending on the model. Both combine several Lexus technologies, such as the Pre-Collision System (PCS)* with Pedestrian Detection*, which is engineered to help detect a vehicle or a pedestrian in the path of your Lexus (under certain conditions). Should it detect a potential frontal collision, it’s designed to automatically prepare for increased brake force and, in some cases, can even automatically brake the vehicle to a stop.
6. And there’s even more advanced active safety systems: For example, the Lexus LS’s optional Lexus Safety System+ A* package includes a feature designed to automatically steer the vehicle away from people and guardrails (under certain conditions). Called the Pre-Collision System with Active Steering Assist*, it is designed to anticipate the possibility of a collision with a pedestrian or continuous structure, and if required may engage the brakes or automatic steering assist to help avoid, or help reduce damage from, an impact—all while staying within the driver’s lane.
Related: The amazing safety technologies in Lexus Safety System+ A
7. The Human-Machine Interaction (HMI) philosophy: Lexus cockpit systems are based on Human-Machine Interaction (HMI). This basically means that Lexus designs its cockpits to unify the driver and vehicle in natural ways, such as placing controls and buttons to minimize human movements—and help drivers keep their eyes toward the road. Just one resulting breakthrough: the Lexus RX’s available Remote Touch controller* which helps RX drivers keep their eyes upward by harnessing a PC-like computer-mouse movement to manipulate display screen menus. This, of course, laid the groundwork for further versions of the system such as the Remote Touchpad* that employs swipes and taps (available in other models).
8. Advanced Head-Up Displays: Projecting driving-related info on the windshield—conveniently close to a natural driving-eye level—also embodies the HMI philosophy, which is why Lexus Head-Up Display (HUD) systems are extremely sophisticated (available in select models). The 2019 Lexus ES HUD system, for example, can project certain road signs on the windshield as you approach them, thanks to its integration with the optional Road Sign Assist (RSA) system*, while the LS HUD works with the Pedestrian Alert* and Front Cross-Traffic Alert* system to help alert you if a vehicle or pedestrian might collide with the vehicle.
9. And then there’s Lexus hands-free voice activation: From longtime technologies such as Voice Command (which allows you to place compatible Bluetooth®-enabled* phone calls and operate audio functions using normal, everyday speech), to recent innovations like onboard Amazon Alexa*, Lexus voice control helps drivers accomplish tasks while keeping their hands on the wheel.
10. Lexus also dedicates heavy research into what you can’t see: Under those sharp-looking Lexus exterior designs are advanced impact-dispersing reinforcement technologies and materials. These include energy-absorbing crumple zones that distribute impact force, helping to maintain the integrity of the cabin during a collision.
By Brian Gill
Posted: May 28, 2019
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