Toyota has announced that it has developed a new Acceleration Suppression System that supplements the existing system in deter accidents or reduce damage that results from misapplication of the throttle pedal. This system has been launched as the Plus Support in new cars, and as an added function in the Pedal Misapplication Acceleration Control System II retrofit device for use in existing cars, says Toyota.

The Japanese manufacturer introduced Intelligent Clearance Sonar (ICS) in 2012 for new vehicles, and introduced the Pedal Misapplication Acceleration Control System as a retrofit in 2018 for existing vehicles. Data confirmed by Toyota has found that ICS helped to prevent approximately 70% of all potential accidents which could have occurred due to misapplication of the throttle pedal.

Actual accidents were observed in the course of development, where the cause was determined to be throttle misuse, and in particular, situations where the throttle pedal was depressed fully were analysed. The characteristics of these situations were then compared to data collected from Toyota’s connected vehicles, and instances of throttle misuse were identified by eliminating times where drivers were determined to genuinely require intentional, rapid acceleration.

The Plus Support configuration is used in new Toyota vehicles with ICS, is being introduced first with Prius hybrid and plug-in hybrid models from July, and the setup will gradually be rolled out to other models, says Toyota. The system starts automatically when the vehicle is unlocked with the Plus Support Smart Key, for customer with concerns about driving. The smart key is a dealer option priced from 13,200 yen (RM527).

In addition to ICS which detects obstacles, suppresses acceleration and applies brakes, the Plus Support setup helps to further deter serious incidents and reduce damage caused by the misapplication of the throttle when the Plus Support Smart Key is used. With the normal key, Plus Support is not activated, and driving can be performed as usual, says Toyota.

The Pedal Misapplication Acceleration Control System II adds additional accleration suppression functionality to the existing Pedal Misapplication Accleration Control System, and this suppresses accidental acceleration even when no obstacles are detected in front of the vehicle, says Toyota.

Like with Plus Support, the Pedal Misapplication Acceleration Control System II system suppresses acceleration when misapplication of the throttle is detected, albeit here when reversing, and it applies even if there are no obstacles are detected behind the vehicle. This adds on to the acceleration suppression functionality that acts to guard against misapplication of the throttle when travelling forwards.

The Pedal Misapplication Acceleration Control System II is offered as a retrofit, firstly for Prius models made between December 2015 and June 2020 without ICS. Support for further Toyota models will be added, coming in November this year for the Sai made from October 2009 until February 2018, and in January next year for the Crown made from February 2008 until December 2012 and the Mark X made from October 2009 until November 2016.

Toyota believes it can help reduce the number of serious accidents caused by misapplied throttle in parking lots and other areas, helping more Toyota owners enjoy greater safety and security in the process. The functions in these systems are meant not just for Toyota vehicles alone, as the Japanese manufacturer has extensively shared the Acceleration Suppression function’s operational logic with other Japanese automakers, it said.