When it comes to safety technology, competition is a very healthy thing. Or as Russ Rader, spokesman for the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, puts it in a recent article by the Los Angeles Times, “The automakers are competing on safety and that’s good news for consumers.” His words are a response to Toyota’s decision to offer a bundle of cutting-edge safety features as a low-cost package.
The Toyota Safety Package includes features such as automatic braking and high-beam automation, as well as lane departure alert. Of course the feature that gets the most attention is the automatic braking. Not surprising when you hear why. As the LA Times reports, “Automatic braking systems are cutting damage claims for front-into-rear crashes by about 14%.”
This is how it always goes with new technologies. At first, they are only selectively available as automakers work to get production costs down. Eventually, they become standard. Just looks like this time Toyota has beaten everyone else to the punch.
The Toyota Safety Package will be available for well under a thousand dollars all across the Toyota and Lexus lineup by late 2016.