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New safety technology from Lexus

Lexus has introduced advanced crash prevention technology into its flagship LS460 saloon.

The vehicle, which will go on sale in the UK early in 2007, will have systems that recognize when a collision is imminent and assist the driver.

Advanced Obstacle Detection (AOD) uses a front-mounted millimetre-wave radar and a twin-lens infrared camera to detect a wide range of obstacles up to 25 metres ahead of the vehicle.

Emergency Steering Assist (ESA) improves the vehicle’s response to driver steering input. It works through interaction between the car’s variable ratio steering, adaptive suspension and dynamics management systems.

LS460 also has a driver monitoring system, which uses a camera and infrared LEDs, to plot the positioning of the driver’s head. If the driver turns away from the road ahead while the vehicle is moving and an obstacle is detected in front of the car, the system automatically activates a pre-crash warning light and buzzer.

If the situation persists, the brakes are briefly applied to alert the driver. If the driver still fails to react, Lexus’s Pre-Crash Safety (PCS) system engages emergency braking and front seatbelt pre-tensioning.

A rear pre-crash safety system is also built-in to the LS460. If its rear radar senses an imminent shunt, this automatically moves the front seat headrests forward to reduce the risk of whiplash injuries.

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