Toyota Will Add 2 New Safety Features For 2020

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Automotive Editor

Based out of the Washington, D.C. area, Joel Patel is an automotive journalist that hails from Northern Virginia. His work has been featured on various automotive outlets, including Autoweek, Digital Trends, and Autoblog. When not writing about cars, Joel enjoys trying new foods, wrenching on his car, and watching horror movies. 

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, Automotive Editor - June 17, 2019

The majority of Toyota’s vehicles come with the automaker’s Toyota Safety Sense suite of active safety features. While the high-tech suite will help keep you safe behind the wheel when the car’s in motion, the Japanese automaker is coming out with two new safety features for the 2020 model year that are all about making things safer when the car is stopped.

The first safety feature is called Automatic Engine Shut Off and, as its name implies, will automatically shut the car’s engine off if it has been running too long. Toyota doesn’t specify an amount of time, and only says that the engine will shut off after a “pre-determined period of time.” The audible and visual warnings given out by Toyota’s Smarty Key have been bolstered, as well. In the future, Toyota envisions smartphone capability with reminders being sent to the driver’s phone.

At the moment, Toyota’s Smart Key, which first came out in 2003, alerts drivers with a two-step alert on when the engine is running. It kindly requests that the driver turn off the engine if it notices that the driver opened the door with the motor humming along. The new Automatic Engine Shut Off feature builds off of the automaker’s Smart Key.

We can see Automatic Engine Shut Off being helpful with Toyota’s hybrids, as those run on electricity when standing still. Without any engine noise emanating from the front, it can be difficult to tell when the gasoline engine is on.

Toyota Land Cruiser

The second feature is Automatic Park, which is aimed at reducing the risk of cars rolling away when drivers forget to put the car in park or engage the parking brake after coming to a stop. The feature, because of the way it operates, is only available on vehicles with an electric parking brake or an electronic shifter. It will shift the vehicle into park or engage the vehicle’s parking brake if it detects the driver has exited the car before shifting the transmission into park.

Toyota doesn’t state what vehicles the new safety features will appear in but claims that “most” cars from the 2020 model year will come with both of them. With Toyota getting the features, there’s a good chance that we’ll see them appear on a few vehicles from Lexus, too. As Car & Driver points out, the Automatic Park function most likely won’t be offered on the 4Runner, Land Cruiser, and 86, as those options use a manual parking brake. Automatic Engine Shut Off will most likely be on vehicles that are offered with push-button start.

See Toyota's current lineup »

, Automotive Editor

Based out of the Washington, D.C. area, Joel Patel is an automotive journalist that hails from Northern Virginia. His work has been featured on various automotive outlets, including Autoweek, Digital Trends, and Autoblog. When not writing about cars, Joel enjoys trying new foods, wrenching on his car, and watching horror movies. 

Follow On: Twitter | Website

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