Toyota has unveiled two new collision detection systems slated to make its way into new Lexus LS models shortly: first, an NEC built IMAPCAR chip which constantly monitors the rear of vehicle and will warn the driver if the car behind them is about to hit them by flashing the car's hazard lights, and will then automatically move the headrest forward to protect the driver's neck, reducing the likelihood of whiplash. We can't imagine that the hazard light warning is really worth it, since giving drivers 0.5 seconds to jam on the gas isn't exactly a practical solution to the problem of rear shunts (and what about false positives?), especially when accelerating could cause another collision, or end up provoking the second collision detection system: Toyota's new, forward facing
collision detection system. Aided by a stereo camera, the new front system is capable of picking out child sized objects, an improvement over previous systems that could only detect something car sized. When an object is detected, the car will warn the driver by tightening the seat belt, and then slowing the car automatically if the driver does not respond, possibly invoking the rear collision detection system, again
. You see our point? If you'd feel uncomfortable handing complete control of your car over to a computer, imagine for a second what it would be like to decide between your own instincts and that of the car's in the crucial moments before a potential accident.