Toyota Prius drivers have good reason to feel a little safer in parking lots – at least if their cars are equipped with the available Intelligent Clearance Sonar (ICS) system. According to a survey conducted between January 2015 and June 2016 in Japan, Toyota found that parking lot accidents involving pedal misapplication fell by 70 percent, while reversing related accidents were reduced by 40 percent on vehicles equipped with ICS compared to ones without.
Toyota’s findings were extracted from a pool of 60,000 vehicles that included the Prius along with Toyota Alphard and Vellfire vans, of which 26,000 were equipped with ICS. During the 18-month period, the survey produced roughly 2,500 parking lot related accidents.
ICS is a sonar-based system that works at speeds of up to 9 mph. Front and rear sensors are used to detect common parking lot objects such as walls and light poles, and will automatically engage the brakes to either reduce the severity of a collision or avoid it entirely.