We’ve written several posts on Lexus Safety System+, but do you really know how this comprehensive suite of advanced, active safety packages help prevent the three most common accident types? Lexus Safety System+ is designed to support driver awareness and make us all better, safer drivers, but the features that make up Lexus Safety System+ are really aimed at accident avoidance. Lexus Safety System+ help address three of the most common accident types: frontal collisions, unintended lane departures, and nighttime accidents.
Lexus Safety System+ is comprised of four main systems:
- Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection
- Lane Departure Alert
- Intelligent High Beam Headlamps
- High-Speed Dynamic Radar Cruise Control
Yes, there are some variations within the systems, but these are the 4 core systems making up Lexus Safety System+.
Obviously, the best accident protection is avoiding accidents altogether. That’s why we believe it is important to understand the basic operation, setting adjustments and limitations of Lexus Safety System+ so you are not only a more informed driver but can fully utilize the system and prevent future accidents. Let’s get started…
Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection
Availability: 2017 IS, 2016-2017 ES, 2016-2017 GS, 2016-2017 RX, 2016-2017 LX and 2018 LC
This system has 2 primary functions: Vehicle Detection and Pedestrian Detection. The PCS uses an in-vehicle camera and front-grille mounted millimeter-wave radar to help detect the vehicle in front of your vehicle and, in certain conditions, may also help to detect a preceding pedestrian.
- When the system determines that the possibility of a frontal collision with the vehicle in front of you is high, it prompts the driver to take evasive action by using an audible and visual alert.
- Alerts operate when the vehicle speed is approximately 7 to 110 MPH for potential collisions with a vehicle.
- This system goes a step further in altogether preventing collisions by aiding the driver with additional brake force (if determined necessary) and applying the brakes to reduce the vehicle speed up to 25 MPH to reduce or prevent potential collisions with a vehicle.
- The system detects a potential pedestrian based on size, profile, and motion.
- Alerts sound when vehicle speed is 7 to 50 MPH
- IF driver does not brake and system determines collision is going to happen, the PCS may operate automated braking for speeds 7 to 50 MPH and may reduce vehicle speed by up to 19 MPH for potential collisions.
The following settings can be adjusted. Adjustments affect both vehicle and pedestrian detection together; they cannot be adjusted independently.
- Alert Timing (brake operation remains the same): Far – Mid (default setting) – Near.
- Turn function ON or OFF – if the system is turned OFF, it will default to back ON with the Mid alert timing each time you turn the car back on.
2. Lane Departure Alert
There are several variations of Lane Departure Alert. Lane Departure Alert uses an in-vehicle camera designed to detect visible white and yellow lane markers in front of the vehicle and the vehicle’s position on the road. Lane Departure Alert is designed to function at speeds of approximately 32 MPH or higher on relatively straight roadways. You can turn the system ON or OFF and it will remain in the selected position until you manually change it back – it does not default back on. Lane Departure Alert (alone) comes on the 2016-2017 Lexus LX.
Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist comes on 2017 IS, 2016-2017 ES, 2016-2017 GS F, and the 2016-2017 RX. When equipped and enabled, the system may provide small corrective steering inputs to the steering wheel for a short period of time to help the driver keep the vehicle in its lane. Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist is designed to function at speeds approximately 32 MPH or higher on relatively straight roadways.
- The MID will display the system’s operating status
- IF the system is unable to detect the lane markings or if the system is temporarily disabled on one of both sides, the MID will show the inside of the displayed lines to be empty
- If the system is able to detect the lane markings, the MID will show white, filled in lines
- When the Lane Departure Alert system is operating, the MID will flash orange on the affected side – appropriate line
- When the Steering Assist function is operating, the MID will flash green on the outside of the filled-in lines for the affected side
You can turn off this system and it will remain OFF until you manually turn the system back ON.
Lane Keep Assist comes on the 2016-2017 GS, 2016-2017 RX and the 2018 LC. Lane Keep Assist is only operational when Dynamic Radar Cruise Control is on and is only a driver assist function. The system will deactivate when the driver is not holding the steering wheel and will assist the driver with some of the steering operations necessary for staying in the current visibly marked lane.
Vehicle Sway Warning is available on 2017 IS, 2016-2017 ES, 2016-2017 GS, 2016-2017 GS F, 2016-2017 RX, 2017 LX and the 2018 LC. Vehicle Sway Warning alerts the driver with a buzzer and displaying a warning indicator on the MID prior to instances such as deviating from the road in the event of drowsiness, inattention or distracted driving. This can also be turned ON or OFF and will remain in that position until the driver manually changes it.
3. Intelligent High Beam Headlamps
Availability: 2017 IS, 2016-2017 ES, 2016-2017 GS, 2016-2017 GS F, 2016-2017 RX, 2016-2017 LX and the 2018 LC. This system is designed to help drivers see more of what’s ahead at night time without blinding other drivers. IHB is designed to function at speeds approximately 25 MPH or higher. The minimum speed may vary by vehicle and the system can be turned ON or OFF.
4. High-Speed Dynamic Radar Cruise Control
Availability: 2017 IS, 2016-2017 ES and 2016-2017 GS F
Designed to function at speeds approximately 25 to 110 MPH and the vehicle speed must be above 28 MPH in order to initiate the system. System will help maintain the preset distance to the vehicle in front and may apply brakes if needed to slow your vehicle down in order to maintain that preset distance. You can adjust the vehicle to vehicle settings: Long – Medium (default) and Short.
Another, more advanced, variation of Dynamic Radar Cruise Control is the available All-Speed Dynamic Radar Cruise Control. All-Speed Dynamic Radar Cruise Control is available on 2016-2017 GS, 2016-2017 RX, 2016-2017 LX and the 2018 LC. This system will do the same as the first, but will also cover speeds below 25 MPH and designed to function between 0 – 110 MPH. All-Speed DRCC may enable low-speed following, speed matching, stopping and acceleration/deceleration relative to a preceding vehicle.
Limitations to Systems: Important to Remember
Do not overly rely on Lexus Safety System+ since the system does have limitations, especially when driving in inclement weather. Below are conditions where these systems may not operate OR may activate a driver alert and/or automatic braking may occur when not actually needed.
Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection
Vehicle Detection Limitations:
- When visibility is poor due to bad weather (rain, snow, fog, blizzard, etc)
- When driving around locations with sharp curves for a period of time after coming out of a turn – due to camera recognition
- When there is intense light from the front (high beam lights from oncoming vehicle)
- When 6.5 feet or less from the preceding vehicle (may trigger the BRAKE! Alert or auto-brake for you)
- If the vehicle in front is super small, low or irregularly high
- When the camera is facing the wrong direction due to damage or misalignment
- When something is on the sensor! Check and make sure your Lexus emblem does not have bugs, dirt or ice on it.
- While VSC is activated
- While the accelerator is pressed
- While backing up
- While driving at very high speeds (over 110 MPH)
Pedestrian Detection Limitations and Instances System May Operate, Even if Collision is NOT Likely:
- When there is an obstacle or parked car at the point of entering a curve, in a curve or at an intersection
- When passing through a narrow steel bridge or through a low ceiling area like a tunnel or parking structure
- When driving on uneven road or in weeds
- Upon seeing a raised intersection, sign or advertisement board in front of the vehicle
- While driving up or down a slope and manhole cover (for example) is in front of the vehicle
- When passing through parked cars or driving between vehicles
- When turning around a curve where there is a pedestrian to the front of the vehicle (can activate even if they are on the sidewalk)
Lane Departure Alert Limitations
System May Not Operate as Designed:
- Bad Weather Conditions blocking vehicle camera visibility or lane marker visibility
System Operation May Be Reduced:
- Lane Markers have been rubbed off, removed or can’t be seen
- Road surface is bright, light concrete or wet
System May Stop Temporarily:
- When amount of light changes dramatically
- If vehicles move up or down (uneven road) or when driving on slippery road
- When camera is bathed in strong light
The system WILL NOT Operate:
- If driving on unpaved road
- When driving too close to a preceding vehicle, blocking the camera from seeing lane markers
Intelligent High Beam Headlamps Limitations
- Bad Weather
- Driving on a road with frequent curves or when there is a sharp curve
- If vehicle is modified
- If vehicle in front has dirty headlights or taillights
Dynamic Radar Cruise Control Limitations
- Bad Weather – when system determines there is bad weather, there are cases where it will automatically turn OFF
- IF system detects filth the system may turn OFF automatically
- When vehicle is being towed
- Steep inclines
- When leaving lane while on an expressway
- When leading vehicle is pulling an empty trailer making the rear surface area very small (including motorcycles)
For more information on Lexus Safety System+, visit LexusDrivers.com or swing by North Park Lexus at Dominion for a personal presentation of these advanced safety systems.