Toyota launches sensor-based device designed to prevent accidents caused by the misapplication of pedals

Kyodo

Toyota Motor Corp. on Wednesday launched a sensor-based device that is designed to prevent crashes caused by the misapplication of pedals in older types of its Prius and Aqua series of vehicles that do not have an automatic braking system.

Confusing the brake pedal with the accelerator accounted for 6.2 percent of fatal car crashes caused by drivers aged 75 or older last year, according to the National Police Agency, as pedal misapplication has become a major domestic traffic safety concern due to an aging population.

The new safety feature detects objects within a range of 3 meters and issues an alert if the driver mistakenly hits the gas pedal instead of the brake, according to the automaker.

The new system also slows down the car if it reaches over 5 kilometers per hour in reverse.

The suggested retail price for the system is ¥55,080, excluding the installation fee. Toyota aims to sell 2,500 units per month.