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Toyota goes autopark – no more ‘did I set the handbrake?’

PLANO, Texas – Toyota Motor North America has announced two feature updates to its vehicle line up – automatic engine shut-ff and autopark. The automaker says they show Toyota’s ”relentless commitment to continuous improvement”.

The additions will be fitted to 2020 vehicles, Toyota says; auto shutoff will have audible and visual warnings, the former automatically killing the engine after a pre-determined period – just in case the car is left running.

Future enhancements will include a smartphone warning that the engine is turning through a  two-step alert – a feature Toyota has had in the US since 2003.

READ MORE Toyota features on Carman’s Corner

The current Smart Key System, Toyota says, meets or exceeds all relevant US federal safety standards while providing added convenience, theft prevention and personal security benefits.

The autopark is intended to reduce the risk of a careless driver forgetting to apply the parking brake. The feature will be available in vehicles with electronic means of shifting and/or applying the parking brake and is designed to automatically shift the vehicle into “park” position and/or apply the electronic brake should the driver forget to do so.

Until now there have been audible and visual warnings and some models have a separate ‘P’ button to reduce confusion.


The supplied media information adds that Toyota ”has long been a leader in technological innovation” – for instance automatic emergency braking – based on the belief that making such innovations is not only beneficial on the road but also mean happy customers.

About five-million vehicles have such systems in the US.


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