Intersections are among the most dangerous places on the automotive landscape. About 40 percent of collisions occur there, according to NHTSA, the nation's top safety regulator. Half of collisions that result in serious injury and a fifth of fatal crashes happen there. So Lexus thought an extra set of eyes might help keep its customers and their passengers safer.
Backup alert systems have become increasingly common. But beginning with the 2018 model year, the Japanese premium brand began outfitting its top-end sedan, the LS, with front cross-traffic alert as part of an optional suite of advanced vehicle safety systems. The idea is to avoid front-end collisions caused by pulling out into traffic.
When an equipped vehicle approaches an intersection at low speed, radar sensors in the front quarter panels are able to detect approaching vehicles from the left and right at up to 164 feet. When an approaching vehicle is detected, the Lexus driver is informed via the vehicle's head-up display.
If the Lexus proceeds toward an approaching crossing vehicle, additional warnings are issued by a buzzer and via the vehicle's instrument cluster.