Automakers have committed to offer Forward Crash Prevention by 2022. Lexus and Toyota will do it next year – here’s why.
Toyota and Lexus say that 25 of the 30 models they make will come standard with Forward Crash Prevention (FCP) and Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB) starting in the next model year.
This puts a point on the delay of implementation by other carmakers. Last week, when 20 of them announced they would offer this technology by 2022, I began a story with the working title “Voluntary Forward Collision Prevention Systems By 2022 Is Much Too Late.”
Having covered this technology since its inception, and having done a story recently highlighting the affordable models on which this technology is presently available, I thought the six-year wait was ridiculous.
There are already affordable models with the systems from most manufacturers, and in order to earn the industry’s top safety rating from the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS), a vehicle must have the system.
The early commitment from Toyota and Lexus makes the other press releases with, “…by 2022” seem silly.
It is hard to believe that Volvo or Subaru didn’t do this before Toyota, given that one company makes its living by selling a perception of safety to premium customers, and the other, Subaru has the highest rated FCP and EAB system on the market with its fantastic EyeSight system.
In family vehicles, safety sells. Toyota knows that, and has long been a leader in safety. In 2015, the company offered the most IIHS Top Safety Pick Plus models.
Most impressive in terms of Toyota’s safety record is that it had four of the nine top-ranked vehicles for lowest driver death rate (a rate of zero) in a recent three-year study by IIHS. No other manufacturer had that many.
The companies excluded a couple low-volume SUVs and the barely-selling Toyota 86 (Scion FR-S). Two of its models, the Mirai and iA, already come standard with FCP and AEB.
For those a little behind the curve, Forward Crash Prevention is not about paying attention.
Readers love to write in that “If we’d all just pay attention we would not need all these newfangled gizmos.” While paying attention is critical to everyone’s safety, FCP can help even in situations where the driver is paying attention.
Current systems can (and do) intervene in emergencies faster than any driver can react – even one focused on the situation ahead. In fact, Nissan’s technology can look ahead of the vehicle just in front of yours and see if it is slowing rapidly. If it is, the system will apply braking before the driver can even tell an emergency situation has started.
Personally, I am a believer in the technology because, although I have never rear ended anyone in over 30 years of driving, the technology saved my bacon on a recent commute.
Don’t take my word for it; the IIHS recently conducted a blind study comparing models with the technology and those exact same models without it. The models that had the safety systems were 40% less likely to have a forward crash.
Keep in mind that it could be you or a loved one that is the vehicle sitting at a red light who could be saved from an accident by this technology.