According to Reuters, Toyota is applying big data in an effort to prevent unintended acceleration, especially that caused by driver error.
It happens every decade or so: A major auto manufacturer is sued for unintended acceleration, only to have studies show that many cases are the result of driver error. It happened in the 1980s with Audi, and more recently in the 2000’s with Toyota. In each case, investigations showed that many unintended acceleration cases were caused by drivers accidentally activating the gas pedal.
Now, Toyota has “unveiled an emergency safety system on Monday that uses big data to ignore the accelerator if it determines the driver steps on the pedal unintentionally.” Toyota is calling the feature it’s “accelerator suppression function,” and it will roll out first in Japan.
While the company’s first-generation Safety Sense package was implemented in 2015, this new version was developed using data from its connected vehicles already on the road. Unlike Safety Sense, this version does need to encounter an obstacle to engage and activate breaking.
Toyota’s move comes as auto makers are building increasingly intelligent vehicles that significantly improve driver safety.