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Toyota Reveals New Safety Features

Tokyo — TOYOTA MOTOR CORPORATION (TMC) announced today that, to help promote the development of safe vehicles, it has added an active steering function to its VDIM (Vehicle Dynamics Integrated Management) vehicle control system and developed a two-chamber airbag aimed at lessening the impact of airbag deployment on front-seat passengers. These technologies will be offered in new models of the Lexus brand, which is due to debut in Japan this summer.

Against a backdrop of the increasing importance of traffic safety policies, and in order to contribute to the complete elimination of traffic fatalities, which is the ultimate goal of a society that values mobility, Toyota intends to strengthen its initiatives in the future through: 1) the development of even safer vehicles, 2) activities designed to educate people in traffic safety and 3) participation in the creation of a safe traffic environment.

Features of the Newly Developed Technologies

VDIM with active steering control added
Toyota's first-generation VDIM integrated VSC (Vehicle Stability Control), ABS (Anti-lock Brake System), TRC (Traction Control) and electric power steering. By constantly monitoring driver action and vehicle status, it used integrated control to help stabilize a vehicle before performance limits were breached. It made its debut in July 2004 on the Toyota Crown Majesta.

Adding to this, the new VDIM features an active steering function for optimal control of the front-wheel steering angle through VGRS (Variable Gear Ratio Steering), a new technology that can flexibly vary steering responsiveness. As a result, even during startup or braking when the friction coefficient (slipperiness) of the road surfaces under the right and left wheels differs, the new VDIM prevents the vehicle from going off course by optimally controlling the front-wheel steering angle in conjunction with the brakes, engine and steering torque. In this way, a higher level of preventive safety is achieved, along with ideal vehicle performance.

SRS Twin-chamber Airbag
To help make front-seat passengers safer, TMC became the world's first*1 automaker to develop a two-chamber airbag. TMC's SRS Twin-chamber Airbag features an advanced shape and is based on the omni-support concept*2. Designed for the front passenger seat, the new airbag's two chambers create a depression in the center of the airbag upon deployment. This deployment is met by multiple surfaces, such as the head and shoulders, to disperse the physical impact of the airbag on the passenger. As a result, unlike existing airbags, which are deployed as a single bag, the new airbag can be expected to lessen the localized force applied to the human body immediately following deployment.

For further details on these safety-enhancing technologies, please see the supplementary attachment.


System Configuration of VDIM (with integrated active steering control)

SRS Twin-chamber Airbag

■Deployed state

■Impact distribution