Toyota has started a global rollout of autonomous safety features for its Hilux bakkie. See details below...
The only people benefitting from the fierce global rivalry between Ford and Toyota’s double-cab bakkies, are quite rightly, customers.
Every time there's a feature update to Ranger, Toyota is required to respond with an update of its own. The latest raft of upgrades for the Hilux pertains to active safety and have already been introduced to European customers in the guise of a special edition Hilux Invincible X.
Ford’s new Ranger has significantly increased the driver assistance offering for South African volume double-cab bakkie buyers, offering autonomous emergency braking (AEB). Although most bakkie owners prioritise load ability, towing capacity and terrain taming off-road ability, the increasing number of double-cab bakkies used as family vehicles has necessitated a rethink of their dynamic safety features.
Double-cab owners, who often burden their bakkies with some garden refuse removal or a trio of mountain bikes in the back over the weekend, are demanding better active safety and collision avoidance technologies. Mercedes-Benz might have been first with AEB in the X-Class, but nothing in the local bakkie market is truly relevant until Ford or Toyota make it a product policy.
Toyota has initiated its AEB rollout, starting with Europe. In the next few months, it should spread to other global markets, including South Africa.
When Toyota eventually does introduce AEB on local Hilux bakkies, it will join Ranger and X-Class as South Africa’s only bakkies which can bring themselves to a complete stop, avoiding a collision, if the driver does not heed a hazard up ahead.
Beyond autonomous braking intervention technology, the Hilux will also become easier to drive in flowing highway traffic, thanks to range-adaptive, radar-guided cruise control. The combination of AEB and radar-guided cruise control are classified under Toyota’s Safety Sense branding, which also includes lane departure warning auto dimming high beam lighting technology.
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