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New Car safety features, closer to a self driving car

Got a Rav4, closer to self driving.

Blind spot Moniter

Lane assist, gently puts you back in your lane if you veer out

Smart Stop Technology, automatically brakes for objects under 30mph I think, if I understood the salesman correctly, and automatically stops the vehicle when both the accelerator and the brake pedal is pressed at the same time,

Laser cruise control, automatically slows to match the speed of the car in front of you, resumes speed when clear

Traction Control: This feature helps you regain control when in a slippery situation. Once your vehicle starts to lose traction, it’ll automatically reduce engine power and apply brakes on the wheels that need it until you regain traction.

Brake Assist: This useful technology can sense when you hit the brakes in an emergency situation and apply even more force to help you stop faster and avoid a collision.

Electric Brake Force Distribution: This feature helps keep your brakes from locking up and your new Toyota from losing balance. It redistributes brake force evenly to all of your wheels to make up for shifting weights when braking hard!

I had no clue to expect this. I guess if it saves me one accident it is good.

Ha, you don’t even need a wife :grinning:

My daughter is very much into saving the planet earth and recently has started having issues with her small CUV thinking that she is polluting the earth. Now she only drives maybe 40 miles per week. But she wants to change to a more efficient car, so has been researching electrics/hybrids/etc. My friends were jokingly saying that this is almost like death to me. No ICE, not a manual car and a bunch or electronics, not even a bit of smell of gasoline and oil…


Let us know how you like it. I know that Toyota has it standard on all their cars now. Honda sells it as an option. I could have purchased it, but all the things I read about the Honda system said that the lane keeper and adaptive cruise control were unnecessarily annoying. I test drove a 2017 Avalon and the lane keeper was fine, except when two lanes merged together. Then I had to fight the darn thing for control to merge when I wanted to.

I like the blind spot reminder but I wasn’t going to pay a couple thousand more for all the rest like lane control and braking. Especially since I read a report on Motor Trend or someplace where the guy was driving on the open road in Wyoming and all of a sudden the car jammed on the BRAKES on the interstate bringing it to a stop for no reason. Might have seen a rabbit or something.

At least we have the option of turn off off all the safety stuff, it is all on for now, live and learn, it may be a while till I get to drive it, as it is wifey car.

Interesting thread, Barky. There’s no doubt in my mind that “Johnny Cabs” will be here in the very near future, far nearer than I would have thought just a few years ago.

I suspect that Smart Stop Technology will become ubiquitous very soon. European regulators are becoming very serious about pedestrian safety, perhaps because of the density of many of their towns, to the extent of already having mandated pedestrian-friendly hood designs. I’ll bet that they’ll mandate the technology very soon. Once they do, manufacturers will probably integrate it into their offerings worldwide. They’ve found in many cases that it’s less costly overall to build some features into all of their cars rather than try to parse out only those going to specific markets and adding a specific feature to only those cars.

Personally, while I’m not a fan of more regulations and generally like added features to be the choice of the buyer, if they MUST add more regulations I think this is one to which I have no objection. This system, along with those that assist us visually, truly can dramatically reduce pedestrian injuries and even accidents. It’s estimated that about 2400 children are run over every year in their own driveways in the U.S. alone.

Also, in 2015, 5,376 pedestrians were killed in traffic crashes in the United States. This averages to one crash-related pedestrian death every 1.6 hours.

Additionally, almost 129,000 pedestrians were treated in emergency departments for non-fatal crash-related injuries in 2015.

The first stat alone, the children getting run over in their own driveways, would make me support Smart Stop Technology as well as electronic visual assist technologies.


With all due respect, Barkydog, this isn’t anything like a “self-driving car.”

These are TOOLS that I might use to better exercise my COMMAND of the vehicle; nothing you mentioned attempts to usurp my command authority or responsibility. I might quibble with the efficacy of some of these (notably the traction/stability control which I find does a worse job in snow than I do), but nothing being done here is an attempt to relinquish my captaincy.

The “self-driving zealots” want to overturn the very concept of “captaincy” itself! Something that is older than this country; that has existed, in one form or another, since the Bronze Age. You are awarded command of a vehicle; you are the ultimate authority (and bear the ultimate responsibilty) for the safe conduct of said vehicle.

Talk about “throwing the baby out with the bath water!”

I was thinking I put cruise control on while driving an interstate highway and go to sleep, (joke) so the car steers itself back into the lane, and keeps a safe distance with the laser guided cruise control, closer to a self driving car i said.

Most of these safety features have been around for more than 10 years, the Chrysler 300 had 3 of these features available in 2004, these have trickled down to common cars now.

Toyota’s Smart Stop Technology was added to older Toyota and Lexus vehicles in 2010 after the floor mat crash fiasco. This reduces engine power to a minimum if the brake and accelerator pedals are applied at the same time. Other manufacturers used this feature years earlier.

Some of these safety systems like lane departure alert and pre-collision systems do lead to self driving vehicles and those developing autonomous vehicles got a jump start via these existing systems.

I have been wondering how to approach traffic light maintenance in the suburban area with this topic in mind.

Traffic lights will have transmitters that communicate with self driving cars soon. While it’s fun to guess, I have no idea how long this transition will take, but there’s no doubt the vast majority of miles ridden will be in self drive vehicles. Even with the BART rapid transit system full to capacity, the freeways are jammed with cars going to work in the morning and coming back at night, so you know there’s a problem. There are city buses, highway commuter buses and lots of corporate buses, and still no one can move easily through the streets where I live between 3 and 7:30 every evening, and the freeway moves at a steady 20 mph. This just can’t be any way to live.

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And self-driving cars will solve traffic congestion? Or will they just allow people to continue texting while driving without the ramifications of running into someone?

One thing that always puzzled me was a line of cars waiting for a red light where every driver can see the light. When the light turns green shouldn’t everyone be able to proceed at or nearly at the same time? Apparently not. It is always go, wait for it, go, wait for it, go, wait for it, wait for it, wait for it. Obviously texting. And so on. Self driving cars that instantly respond to traffic signals could help congestion in that situation. I should add that if I am driving the first car in line there would be a mandatory 2 second delay while I checked for red light runners.

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Think about a train if you have ever seen one starting from a stop the engine will start moving before the end of the train due to taking up the slack in the coupler’s.

Solve it? Perhaps not but improve it is likely. Think about all the nonsense things people do that contribute to congestion. If automatic cars can communicate with each other and sense their surroundings, they can adjust speed in anticipation of events. Eliminating or at least significantly reducing the slinky effect alone would speed up travel for everyone. Humans just can’t seem to resist blazing up to the car in front and then romping on the brakes… I’m also betting that self driving cars will execute a zipper merge far better then we seem capable of doing…computers don’t have egos or other emotions that get in the way of doing the right thing…

Self driving cars will reduce inefficiency on the highway. The guy that waits for 10 car lengths to open up befor liesurely accelerating to 30 on a 6 lane highway won’t do that anymore. Nor will the guy that tailgates, weaves through traffic, and causes a multi car accident by trying to fit into a space in traffic too small for his car. Those are just two of the poor driving techniques that will be eliminated.

My wife has the 17 RAV4. Some of the features I like and some are troublesome. The lane detection struggles on poorly marked roads. I have found that it can’t always tell the difference between a sealed joint in the road and the poorly marked lines.

Truth is, nobody knows yet.
Just as Thomas J. Watson, then Chairman and CEO of IBM, said in 1943 “I think there is a world market for maybe five computers,”, and nobody, not even the sci-fi writers, could have envisioned the internet, it’s impossible to predict how self-driving technology will evolve. Personally, I think self-driving cars perfectly capable of getting us where we want when we want safely are in the every near future, perhaps 15-20 years away. But it’ll be another 30 or more years before they’re ubiquitous. They’ll probably reduce accidents dramatically, but there’ll always be people-operated cars by the millions. There are today an estimated 250 million in the contiguous U.S. alone.

But I could be totally wrong. I can’t predict the future either! :smile:

Maybe this is the answer everyone has been looking for but I kinda put this in the same file as the flying car idea 50 years ago that was suppose to solve a lot of problems. Oh wait, someone is working on that one again. Self-driving flying cars? Maybe if we learned to disburse our population centers a little better, that might solve some congestion issues more effectively. Like I said before, Minneapolis didn’t have huge congestion problems until they started building huge office buildings downtown to the delight of the city planners. Then later apartment complexes. Now to force people on buses, trains, and bikes, parking places are under assault. When did they start offering urban studies degrees anyway to deal with all this urbanization? Maybe more highly intellectuals yet idiots. Remember the best folks to solve a pesky problem are the ones that created it in the first place. I don’t know the name of that phenomenon but I’ve seen it over and over again.

Comrade Bing out

I wish that it was “only” 10 car lengths in local driving conditions.
Why do so many people think that, when the left turn arrow turns green for them, it is necessary to leave…
20 or more car lengths between their car and the car in front of them as they proceed at a truly glacial pace through an intersection?