Toyota Safety Sense

Breaking down Toyota Safety Sense

October 1st 2015 | Benjamin Yong

Toyota Safety Sense is a new suite of optional safety additions that will eventually be available on all 2017 models.


Toyota fans should already be familiar with the Star Safety System, which generated buzz a few years back when it was first rolled out, since the manufacturer was the first to provide a comprehensive bundle of six standard safety technologies across the entire lineup. Now the company is evolving their products again with the introduction of Toyota Safety Sense (TSS).

TSS builds upon the features already included with Star (ABS, traction control, brake assist, vehicle stability control, electric brake force distribution, smart stop technology), adding three main new functions. Let’s take a look at them below.

Toyota Safety Sense Pre-collision System

Pre-collision System (PCS)

Utilizing both a camera and laser radar, PCS detects vehicles in front of the driver, and if sensing an impending collision will send out an audible and visual alert. If the brakes are applied, the system provides extra assistance to mitigate the potential impact. If not, the brakes are automatically initiated and speed is reduced by about 30 km/h.

For some models, like mid-size and luxury, a more advanced version of PCS will include a pedestrian detect function and the ability for the automatic braking to reduce speed by about 40 km/h.

Toyota Safety Sense Lane Departure Alert

Lane Departure Alert (LDA)

You may have already seen a lane departure warning feature offered on other makes — an onboard camera detects the lane markings on the road and LDA will notify the driver using sounds and lights if the car drifts into an adjacent lane.

Toyota Safety Sense Automatic High Beam

Automatic High Beam (AHB)

Again utilizing a built-in camera, the AHBs can detect the headlights of oncoming traffic and the taillights of someone travelling ahead of you, and will switch to low beams to avoid blinding other motorists. High beams will be re-engaged when the coast is clear.

Radar Cruise Control

When activated, a forward-facing camera and millimetre-wave radar constantly measures the distance between you and the person in front in order to maintain a safe distance, even accounting for cars that move in and out of the lane.

Toyota Safety Sense

TSS will be first made available, as part of a package, on some new vehicles like the redesigned 2016 Toyota Prius, with the goal of being an option on all others by 2017.

About the Author

Benjamin Yong is a freelance journalist and communications professional living in Richmond, B.C. He is often found writing about cars and the auto industry, amongst other things, or driving around in his work-in-progress 1990 Mazda MX-5.

Twitter: @b_yong
Instagram: @popuplights