2018 Lexus LS demonstrating pedestrian safety
Illustration: Chris Philpot

With the help of innovative technology, pedestrians may soon be safer when crossing streets. The 2018 Lexus LS (shown in illustration above), when equipped with an advanced safety system bundle, can help drivers avoid collisions by employing radar and a stereo camera that watch for hazards.

If a pedestrian is detected near the front of the car while it’s going between 7 mph and 50 mph, an alert is designed to appear in the driver’s field of vision via a graphic projection on the car’s windshield (called a “head-up display”).

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If the driver doesn’t react quickly enough, the car will trigger the automatic emergency braking system (AEB), which will attempt to slow or stop the car.

Additionally, if the car senses that the surrounding area is safe, it may then actively steer around the pedestrian.

If an impact happens nonetheless, the hood is designed to lift slightly at the base of the car’s windshield, allowing it to absorb some of the impact and potentially reduce the severity of head trauma.

Though the swerve function is so far unique to Lexus, similar hood engineering is available on the 2018 Buick Regal Sportback and is likely to spread to more U.S. models.

Editor's Note: This article also appeared in the May 2018 issue of Consumer Reports magazine.