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    TOKYO, Aug. 5 /PRNewswire/ -- Toyota Motor Corporation (NASDAQ: TOYOY) announced today that it has developed the basic technologies for the five main systems it plans to build into the Toyota Advanced Safety Vehicle (ASV).  Toyota started to develop the ASV last July, and the vehicle will feature a variety of safety features appropriate for the twenty-first century.
    Toyota has long considered building safer automobiles a high priority, and it has actively pursued this theme from two approaches -- preventative safety and collision safety.  All five new systems make extensive use of leading-edge electronics and other advanced technologies.  Toyota will evaluate each of them separately in prototype vehicles before incorporating them all into the ASV.  The five basic technologies are as follows:
    -- Sleep Warning System
    This system checks whether the driver has begun to doze at the wheel by continuously monitoring the driver's physiological data and vehicle data to detect signs of waning consciousness.  If the system detects an irregularity, a warning is sounded to wake the driver, and the vehicle automatically stops if the driver fails to respond.
    -- Headlamp Light-Distribution Pattern Control System
    This system automatically controls the light pattern distribution of the vehicle's headlamps in accordance with the driving conditions, such as the presence or absence of on-coming traffic or a curve in the road. The system thus ensures optimum visibility.
    -- Collision Avoidance System
    This system is designed to prevent rear-end collisions on freeways and highways due to driver inattention.  It detects on-coming obstructions and gives a warning if its judges that there is a danger of collision.  If the driver does not respond, the brakes are automatically applied.
    -- Inter-vehicle Information Exchange System
    This system uses lights and other indicators to convey more precisely the driver's intentions and the vehicle's imminent movements to drivers of other vehicles as well as to pedestrians.
    -- Drive-Recorder System
    This system is designed to help clarify the conditions under which an accident occurred by retaining information recorded shortly before and immediately after the accident.  It serves a similar role to the flight recorder fitted in aircraft.
    A more detailed description of these systems is given below:
    -- Sleep Warning System
    (1) A computer monitors the driver's steering activity and various physiological signs, such as pulse rate, to detect whether the driver may be losing consciousness.
    (2) When such conditions are detected, an alarm is sounded and the driver is urged to take a rest.
    (3) If this has no effect, devices designed to rouse the driver, such as vibrating the driver's seat, are activated and the system warns the driver to take a break.
    (4) If the driver continues to doze even after these warnings, the vehicle is stopped with an electronically controlled throttle and brake.
    -- Headlamp Light-Distribution Control System
    (1) The system chooses a light-distribution pattern between the high- and low-beam patterns to provide the best road illumination as far ahead as possible, even at low beam.
    (2) The system automatically adjusts the light-distribution pattern to prevent glare to the on-coming traffic.
    (3) The system monitors road conditions and automatically adjusts the direction of illumination so that it shines in the direction of travel.  This is especially important when negotiating curves.
    -- Collision Avoidance (Auto-Braking) System
    (1) This system constantly measures the distance between the vehicle and obstructions (moving and stationary, such as a stopped vehicle) ahead, as well as measuring their relative speeds.
    (2) The system collates this data with data on the vehicle's speed, how it is being steered, and other information to make a comprehensive assessment of collision danger.
    (3) Depending on the degree of imminent danger, the system sounds an alarm or displays warnings to encourage the driver to take evasive action.
    Level 1 alarm:  When the distance between the vehicle and the obstruction ahead meets certain preconditions, the system warns the driver to maintain an appropriate distance.
    Level 2 alarm:  If the distance to the obstruction ahead continues to narrow despite the level-1 alarm, the system urges caution early enough to allow the driver to avoid collision through his own action.
    (4) If the driver still does not take action after the level-1 and 2 alarms, the system activates an electronically controlled throttle and brake to stop the vehicle.
    -- Inter-vehicle Information Exchange System
    This system uses additional auxiliary lights and indicators to signal to others the driver's intentions and imminent vehicle movements.
    The main types of information conveyed are given below.
    Signal                Description
    "Go ahead"            This signal, for example, indicates the
                          driver's intention to yield the right-of-way
                          to on-coming vehicles or pedestrians at
    "Crossing ahead"      This signal cautions the drivers of vehicles
                          approaching from behind when the driver has
                          yielded the right-of-way at, for example, an
    "About to brake"      This signal is activated when the Collision
                          Avoidance System issues a level-2 alarm; it
                          warns vehicles approaching from behind that
                          the vehicle is about to brake.
    "Emergency stop"      This signal informs other drivers that the
                          vehicle is making an emergency stop, such as
                          when the auto-braking system has been
    -- Drive-Recorder System
    (1) This system records vehicle speed, characteristics of deceleration and other similar actions, steering angles, and characteristics of brake application so that a record of the conditions before and after an accident will be available.  It can also record occurrences in front of the vehicle with a compact video camera.
    (2) After a certain period lapses, the system overwrites old recordings with newer information, so recording of running data is virtually continuous.
    (3) Drive-recorder data can later be used for analysis, and vehicle operations can be reproduced graphically on a computer.
    -0-             08/05/93
    CONTACT:  Steve Brodsky or Tim Andree of Toyota Motor Corporate Services, N.A., Inc., 212-223-6395
    (TOYOY) CO:  TOYOTA MOTOR CORPORATION IN:  AUT -- NY037R -- X248  08/05/93
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Aug 5, 1993

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