The 2018 Lexus LS will come packed with an assortment of driver assistance systems but the company has gone to extreme lengths to prevent drivers from becoming too complacent behind the wheel.
As Automotive News reports, engineers developed a high-tech Driver Emergency Stop Assist function that will bring the car to halt if the driver fails to respond to multiple warnings.
If the driver takes their hands off the steering wheel, the system will provide audio and visual warnings informing them to keep their hands on the wheel. If the driver fails to heed these warning, the car’s horn and hazard lights will be activated to warn surrounding vehicles that something is wrong. The car will then slowly bring itself to a halt, unlock the doors, and contact emergency services.
The system is primarily designed to cope with someone who may have suffered a medical emergency but it will also help to battle complacency. As part of this initiative, the company won’t refer to its autonomous system as automated driving technology because the company wants to make it clear that the driver needs to be actively involved even in semi-autonomous mode.
Some people might wonder why Lexus would go to such extremes but last year’s fatal crash involving a Tesla Model S is a pretty good indication. As we have previously reported, its owner was using Autopilot mode when it collided with a semi making a left turn. The driver should have noticed the truck if he was paying attention but he took “no braking, steering, or other actions to avoid the collision.”