Long drives can leave you feeling stressed and exhausted, jeopardizing your safety and the safety of drivers around you. In fact, one study showed that managing driver stress could actually reduce the odds of collisions, which is why an advanced system like Dynamic Radar Cruise Control (DRCC) has the potential to not only put you at ease, but also enhance road safety.
Toyota knows that every safe arrival matters, which is why DRCC is part of Toyota Safety Sense™ (TSS), a suite of advanced safety features to be included on virtually every vehicle produced by Toyota by Autumn 2017.
TSS is offered in the form of two packages—Toyota Safety Sense™ C (TSS-C) for compact vehicles and Toyota Safety Sense™ P (TSS-P) for midsize and large vehicles—and DRCC is one of four features offered with TSS-P.
The following provides more information on how this system works and what sets it apart from conventional “constant speed” cruise control.
What is Dynamic Radar Cruise Control?
On highways, Dynamic Radar Cruise Control functions similarly to conventional “constant speed” cruise control in that it helps vehicles travel at a consistent speed set by the driver.
While conventional cruise control is meant to improve your comfort and keep your speed in check while driving, the feature is hardly worthwhile when you’re continually forced to cancel your preset speed, especially on busy roadways.
But Dynamic Radar Cruise Control adds a vehicle-to-vehicle distance control mode that will adjust your vehicle’s speed (within a set range) to help maintain a preset distance to a preceding vehicle when the preceding vehicle is travelling at a lower speed.
When the system determines the road ahead is clear, it will automatically bring your vehicle back to its preset speed.
How does it work?
Once you set your vehicle speed (approximately 50 km/h or higher) and your vehicle-to-vehicle distance—long, medium, or short depending on your preference—DRCC uses a front-grille-mounted, millimeter-wave radar and in-vehicle camera to detect a preceding vehicle and help determine its distance.
If the vehicle ahead is detected traveling at a speed slower than your set speed or within your distance range setting, the system is designed to automatically decelerate your vehicle without cancelling cruise control.
When a greater reduction in vehicle speed is necessary, perhaps due to sudden congestion, the system may apply your vehicle’s brakes and operate its brake lights to notify drivers traveling behind you. The system will then respond to changes in the speed of the vehicle ahead in order to help maintain your preset vehicle-to-vehicle distance.
When there is no longer a preceding vehicle driving slower than your vehicle’s set speed, the system accelerates until the set speed is reached and returns to constant speed cruising.
Why is it so important?
Until recently, adaptive cruise control systems like DRCC have only been available in luxury model cars, but preliminary research indicates that they can be effective. According to a report cited by the AAA Foundation For Traffic Safety, if systems like Toyota’s were used by all U.S. drivers, the number of high-speed collisions that involved the car ahead slowing down or travelling at a lower speed could be reduced by an estimated 17 percent.
By maintaining a set distance with the vehicle ahead, these systems are also meant to make driving easier and less tiring, and research has proven that they can reduce driver stress and fatigue—two factors that play a significant role in collisions. According to the Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators, fatigue plays a role in up to 21 percent of motor vehicle collisions, making it the third-highest measurable cause of accidents in the country. Perhaps not surprisingly, a stressed-out driver isn’t a very good driver either—a survey of UK drivers found that 71 percent lost concentration at the wheel in the past year due to some form of stress or annoyance.
Dynamic Radar Cruise Control is designed to assist the driver and is not a collision-avoidance system or a substitute for safe and attentive driving practices. System effectiveness depends on many factors such as weather, traffic and road conditions. Please see toyota.ca, your local Toyota Dealer or Owner’s Manual for details.