The Japanese-market-only Toyota Crown Hybrid first debuted as a concept at the 2007 Tokyo Motor Show, and was revealed as a production model in April of this year. Now the luxury hybrid sedan is getting a cutting-edge pedestrian detection system for its Night View night vision computer.

The previous model displayed the night vision information in a heads-up display format directly on the windshield. The new Night View system employs an LCD screen instrument panel that can display gauges in both fuel-saving Eco mode and power-enhancing Sport mode and can also show the road ahead in infrared. The computer system searches the image for pedestrian shapes and then highlights them with yellow boxes, making it easier to be aware of and drive safely past the nocturnally ambulatory.

Vehicle speed and weather conditions affect the system's ability due to the processing power required to recognize the pedestrians at the roadside. Driving in excess of 60km/h (37.2mph) makes it too difficult to process the image and suss out the pedestrian outlines in time, and the feature is deactivated. The same happens when it is raining and the operation of the windshield wipers interferes with the image processing system.

At present only pedestrians are included in the detection system, but Toyota hopes to include animals, cyclists and other mobile roadside hazards in future.

Via: TechOn