Toyota Motor Corporation and its Lexus luxury division unveiled an advanced active safety research vehicle at the 2013 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. Instead of driving itself, this modified Lexus LS aims to enhance the skills of the driver.
Called the ''Integrated Safety Management Concept,'' it relies on various sensors and technologies, such as a 360-degree LIDAR laser on the roof to detect surrounding objects up to about 70 metres, as well as three high-definition colour cameras that detect objects about 150 metres away, including traffic lights (front camera) and approaching vehicles (side cameras).
The concept is said to be ''a testing platform aimed at the development of systems capable of enhancing the driver’s perception of their environment, assisting in the decision-making process and improving overall driving skills.''
Ultimately, Toyota hopes to develop an Intelligent Transportation System integrating the car with the driving environment by way of vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-roadside infrastructure communications. Benefits will include collision avoidance at blind intersections and with a vehicle stopped ahead.
For some reason the wisdom of smaller-than-standard size vans evaded North America until mid-2009 when the first Transit Connect arrived. The vehicle immediately won North American Truck of the Year at the 2010 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) and has proven itself popular with buyers ever since.