Toyota has revealed that it intends to make its 2020 models safer by adding new features like automatic engine shutoff and automatic park. Cars that are equipped with Toyota’s Smart Key System will not only offer keyless entry, but will also have automatic engine shutoff. If the vehicle is left running, it will automatically be switched off after a pre-determined period of time. Currently, Toyotas having the keyless entry system already sound a chime and provide a visual warning about a running engine. Toyota did not reveal any further details about the “a pre-determined time.” It also did not explain if the engine would be automatically switched of if the driver continued to remain in the vehicle as it was not clear if the system would have a feature that could detect if the driver has left the vehicle.
The presence of this feature could prevent instances where older drivers who are not used to “keyless” proximity fobs forgot that that they failed to turn off their engines and caused their homes to be flooded exhaust fumes.
The Jaguar XF has a similar feature that turns the car off when the driver puts the car in Park and unbuckles the seatbelt, though the driver may continue to remain in the car.
According to Toyota, a future upgrade for automatic shutoff will send a reminder to a smartphone app.
Automatic park is meant to reduce the possibility of rollaways. This feature will only be available on models with electronic shifters or parking brakes. The system operates if the driver exits the vehicle and hasn’t put the moved the gear to Park. In that case, the car will either shift into to Park itself, or activate the electronic parking brake.
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