Toyota has announced new safety features that it will be adding to its vehicle line starting in the 2020 model year. The safety features are Automatic Engine Shut Off and Automatic Park. The automaker says that the new feature represents its “relentless” commitment to continuous improvement.
Automatic Engine Shut Off or “Auto Shut Off” will come to most 2020 model year vehicles and is an enhanced audible and visual warning to the Smart Key System (SKS). This feature will automatically shut off the engine after a predetermined period if the vehicle is left running. Toyota intends to add enhancements in the future, like smartphone reminders.
The new Automatic Engine Shut Off feature might spell the end of leaving a passenger waiting in the car while the driver runs in to do some shopping without leaving the key behind. Another feature Toyota will deploy is Automatic Park. Toyota says this will begin a “phase in” in the model year 2020.
Automatic Park is a system designed to help prevent any rollaway issues. The feature will be available on vehicles that have an electronic means of shifting and/or applying the parking brake. This system automatically shifts the vehicle into park and/or applies the parking brake if the driver exits the vehicle without placing it in park. Toyota notes that its vehicles already include an audible and visual warning and its non-traditional shifters have a separate P button to reduce confusion.
It would seem useful for Toyota to get its Automatic Park system to automatically apply the parking brake when the car is placed into park, but that feature isn’t indicated. Toyota offers no indication of how long the rollout of the features might take.