Originally released by Toyota in 1966, the Corolla has undergone many redesigns. Over the years, the Corolla’s size has ranged from sub-compact to compact. This small size is in tune with its name, which derives from the Latin word for “small crown.” In addition to updating the exterior and interior styling of the vehicle, Toyota has continued to develop and evolve the technology that’s inside of the Corolla. Some of these technological features can also be seen in future self-driving cars.
Toyota Safety Sense Pedestrian Detection Technology
The 2018 Toyota Corollas are outfitted with standard Toyota Safety Sense Technology, which is a proprietary software made standard in all Corolla trim levels beginning in model year 2018. This technology includes an in-vehicle camera and radar system to detect a pedestrian in the roadway. If necessary, the system will apply the brakes in order to avoid hitting the pedestrian. Toyota Safety Sense Technology also works on other obstacles and objects, such as a vehicle. If the system detects a potential collision, it provides the driver with both audio and visual alerts. If no action is taken, the vehicle applies the brake assist. The brake assist is designed to either avoid a collision or reduce its severity.
Lane Departure Alert
The Corolla uses LiDAR and radar to monitor its position in a lane on the road. If the software senses that the vehicle is drifting out of its lane, it sounds an audible alert and shows a visual cue. This Lane Departure Alert software is activated when the vehicle is traveling at speeds of at least 32 miles per hour. If the driver does not redirect the vehicle back into the lane, the Corolla’s steering assist and electronic power steering systems redirect it back into the lane automatically.
Dynamic Radar Cruise Control
Being able to maintain a consistent distance from the vehicle ahead is another feature that’s common in self-driving cars. The Toyota Corolla uses a proprietary safety feature called Dynamic Radar Cruise Control in order to keep a comfort zone between other vehicles on the road. This piece of software is designed to use radar and an in-vehicle camera to maintain a preset distance between the vehicle that’s ahead of the Corolla. In addition, the Dynamic Radar Cruise Control uses the distance information to calculate and maintain the appropriate speed of travel. The system automatically adjusts the Corolla’s speed if the car ahead slows down, and it does this without shutting down the cruise control system. As one may expect, this feature is designed for highway travel.
LiDAR Technology in the Toyota Corolla
Autonomous cars depend on LiDAR technology to determine their geographic locations. While not a fully self-driving car, the 2018 Corolla uses LiDAR for many semi-autonomous features. LiDAR, which stands for light detection and ranging, is based on a concept that’s similar to radar. Instead of utilizing radio waves to measure the distance to an object, LiDAR uses light from a laser beam to measure the distance to an object. LiDAR is also computer friendly, sending the information to the Corolla’s computer so that it can build a three-dimensional model of the immediate environment and respond to it accordingly.
Another major feature that’s playing a role in the future of autonomous cars, especially taxis that will ferry passengers, is voice control. The Corolla already has a leg up in this department—part of the 2018 redesign is related to voice controls. In fact, this voice-activated information system is standard equipment in the Corolla, starting with the 2018 model year. The hands-free phone is also standard. These features could allow the driver or the passenger to command the vehicle to connect with a smartphone, change the radio station, or make a call to a phone number that’s in the phone’s contact list. The hands-free phone operates with Bluetooth technology and works with Bluetooth-compatible devices.
Autonomous Features for Budget Buyers
The Corolla has long been noted for its compact design and straightforward features. With the 2018 model, this vehicle continues that tradition by focusing more on safety and functionality over sportiness. Toyota is also bringing semi-autonomous features to the masses with this model.