New Feature: Intelligent Clearance Sonar

The 2017 Lexus RX offers many new and updated features, but there is one new system being introduced on the 2017 RX that is of particular interest: Intelligent Clearance Sonar.  This new driver-assist system will eventually be added to future Lexus models but the 2017 RX is the only model with the new safety system as of right now.  What is Intelligent Clearance Sonar?  Learn more here…


Intelligence Clearance Sonar (ICS) is the new system that combines the object-detection functions of Park Assist and Rear Cross Traffic Alert with drive force control and automatic braking.  The new ICS feature was designed to help further reduce the chance of an impact while maneuvering at low speeds or reversing out of a parking space.  This feature is standard on the 2017 RX450h and is available on the 2017 RX with feature code BD – Blind Spot Monitor with Rear-Cross Traffic Braking and Intuitive Parking Assist with Auto Braking.  So how does this smart-auto-braking system work?  Lexus details the new system in the 2017 RX Owner’s Manuals  (RX350: page 355; RX450h: page 349), but we have a condensed (yes, this is condensed!) explanation of the feature here:

When activated, an at speeds of up to 10 mph, the Intuitive Parking Assist sonar sensors can detect obstacles in the path of the vehicle within a range of 6-13 feet.  Examples include walls, pylons, planters or parked vehicles that may be nearby when maneuvering.

Upon detecting an obstacle with the range of the sonar sensors, Park Assist with new Auto Braking will first give an audible and visual alert and reduce drive force.  If the driver does not take action, the system will apply the brakes to help avoid a collision with the detected object.

Rear Cross- Traffic Braking works with the Rear Cross-Traffic Alert system that we are used to already from previous models and is similar to Intuitive Parking Assist with Auto Braking, with the difference being that this system functions only when reversing.  For example, if when reversing out of a parking space, the radar sensors detect an oncoming vehicle, the system will first give an audible and visual alert and reduce drive force.  If the driver does not take action, the system will apply the brakes to help avoid or mitigate contact with the oncoming vehicle.

The new driver assist systems from Lexus are incredible and gives all of us and other 2017 RX drivers greater peace of mind from knowing Lexus is watching our back, front and sides.   Have you seen this new feature in action or have any questions on Intelligent Clearance Sonar?  If so, upload and share in the comments section below.  We love hearing from Lexus drivers and enthusiasts!

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10 thoughts on “New Feature: Intelligent Clearance Sonar

    1. I would make sure your Blind Spot Monitor (BSM) button is selected and ON. Once ON it should remain ON and ready to work as designed. System would turn off if sensors were obstructed. Have you taken your RX to a Lexus dealership yet?


    1. If the lift does not interfere or block any of the sensors on the back of the RX then you would not need to disable necessarily, however I would not wholly rely on ICS either since the auto-braking will not occur if the sensors are obstructed and cannot detect objects or oncoming vehicles. You should know if the scooter blocks any of the sensors by just having Park Assist turned on and testing (carefully). Thank you!!


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