The National Highway Transportation Administration (NHTSA) has found that almost 40% of all the fatalities on US highways are caused by driving off of the road. To help prevent these accidents, Toyota has developed an innovative Lane-Keep Assist technology that is designed to alert the driver when the system detects that the vehicle is about to deviate from a well-marked lane. The system can also work in conjunction with Toyota’s Dynamic Radar Cruise Control to help the driver steer and keep the vehicle on course.
Lane-Keep Assist was first introduced in September 2004 on Toyota’s Crown Majesta model and has since been offered on a variety of other vehicles and models. Today, engineers continue to expand and enhance the system based on the road environments in various countries.
How Does It Work?
Toyota’s Lane-Keep Assist technology uses a camera mounted on the front of the vehicle to recognize well-painted lanes on the road to help the driver stay on course. The system has two principal functions:
- The Lane Departure Warning alerts the driver when it determines that the vehicle may deviate from the lane. The possible notifications include a warning buzzer, a warning message on the display, and/or the application of a small amount of counter-steering force to the steering wheel.
- Lane-Keep Assist works with Toyota’s Dynamic Radar Cruise Control to assist the driver in steering the vehicle on certain road types. When the Radar Cruise Control is activated, the system makes it easier to stay on course near the center of the lane by continuously applying a small amount of counter-steering force.
These functions are closely tied to the systems that monitor the road environment and driving conditions, so may not activate depending on factors such as condition of the lane and the vehicle’s speed.