11 min read
05 Dec

The Lexus Safety System+ (LSS+) is the automaker’s version of the advanced driving assistance systems (ADAS) designed to achieve what the parent company, Toyota, called “an accident-free world.” What ADAS can do varies by manufacturer, which is why automakers continually sharpen and update their offerings to reflect the continuous improvement in road safety and driver confidence. 

Similarly, the LSS+ 3.0 is Lexus' latest iteration of its ADAS system, representing an evolved version of the LSS+ 2.5. The LSS+ 3.0 debuted on the 2016 Lexus RX luxury midsize SUV. Toyota described it as an integrated crash prevention safety system centered on the three main areas of front collision detection and mitigation, lane keeping, and enhanced night driving safety. 

The LSS+ has since migrated into many other Lexus models, morphing from the original LSS+ to the LSS+ 2.0, LSS+ 2.5, and into the latest LSS+ 3.0 with expanded driver-aid capabilities. This article follows the Lexus Safety System’s evolution, exploring the crucial distinctions between the 2.5 and 3.0 versions while emphasizing the brand's commitment to collision prevention and driver protection. 

See also: A Comprehensive Comparison of Toyota Safety Sense 3.0 and 2.5: In-Depth Analysis and Review 

Lexus Safety System+ 2.5: Overview

Lexus Safety System+ 2.5 overview.

Considering that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) states that a significant number of reported crashes are avoidable, Lexus uses the LSS+ as a suite of proactive measures addressing this critical issue. 

The 2.5 version of Lexus Safety System+ is a comprehensive safety suite designed to safeguard drivers, passengers, and pedestrians alike. Anchored by automated pre-collision warning and braking, this system represents a milestone in Lexus's ongoing commitment to advancing safety technologies. 

As mentioned in the intro, Lexus Safety System+ tackles three primary accident types: frontal collisions, lane departures, and low-light situations during nighttime driving. These features are integral in supporting driver awareness, decision-making, and overall vehicle operation. 

Comprising a quartet of Pre-Collision Systems with Pedestrian Detection, Lane Departure Alert, Intelligent High Beams, and Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, the 2.5 version already made its mark as a robust defender against potential collisions. 

Lexus Safety System+ 2.5 Additional Features

For an added layer of safety, Lexus Safety System+ 2.5 incorporates Road Sign Assist and Lane Tracing Assist, enhancing the overall driving experience and augmenting the prevention capabilities. 

Lexus Safety System+ 3.0: Overview

Lexus Safety System+ 3.0 overview.

Building on the foundation laid by its predecessor, Lexus Safety System+ 3.0 introduces noteworthy enhancements that elevate the driving experience to new heights. Notably, the 3.0 version adds Curve Speed Management to the Dynamic Radar Cruise Control. 

Lexus’ CMS leverages the car's navigation system to seamlessly detect curves and changes in the road, automatically adjusting the vehicle speed to enhance driving safety and comfort. 

Initially introduced with LSS+ 2.5 and enhanced with LSS+ 3.0, this innovative system intelligently lowers vehicle speed during curves and resumes the driver-set speed after navigating them. 

It's crucial to distinguish Curve Speed Management from the standard radar cruise control system. Unlike the standard version, CMS, integrated with adaptive cruise control and navigation systems, provides an all-encompassing solution. 

The all-speed dynamic radar cruise control system uses a millimeter-wave radar and camera to assess the speed of surrounding vehicles, offering stop-and-go capability. This not only ensures a smooth stop-and-start experience but also reduces driver fatigue in traffic jams. 

The Toyota/Lexus radar cruise control system, functioning between 0 and 110 mph, maintains optimal vehicle spacing and speed, even through curves. This system enhances driver focus by consistently managing distances in various driving scenarios. 

In contrast, the standard radar cruise control, operational between 25 and 110 mph, lacks the capability to handle stop-and-go traffic, traffic jams, and curve speed adjustments. 

The Dynamic Radar Cruise Control (DRCC) takes the driving experience to the next level by seamlessly detecting slower vehicles ahead using advanced radar and camera technology. This enables automatic deceleration without canceling cruise control. 

In situations where deceleration alone isn't sufficient, DRCC applies the brakes to prevent collisions, effortlessly returning to the preset speed once the obstacle has cleared. 

DRCC caters to diverse driving situations, with High-Speed Dynamic Radar Cruise Control ideal for highway driving and All-Speed Dynamic Radar Cruise ensuring peace of mind in congested traffic, functioning even below 40 km/h. 

This advanced cruise control system alleviates the stress of maintaining consistent distances, particularly in urban areas and unpredictable traffic conditions, offering a more relaxed and enjoyable driving experience. 

Furthermore, the newly introduced Intersection Support further solidifies the system's ability to navigate complex road scenarios. 

See also: Questions And Answers About Toyota Entune: The Ultimate Encyclopedia

In-Depth Analysis Of The Lexus Safety System+

1. Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection

  • Standard: IS | ES | LS | NX | RX | GX | LX | RC & RC F | LC | UX
Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection.

Lexus offers the LSS+ Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection as standard equipment across various models, ranging from the IS and ES sedans to the RX and UX SUVs

This system, marked by enhanced radar and camera capabilities, is a pivotal component of both the Lexus Safety System+ 2.5 and 3.0, playing a crucial role in averting potential frontal collisions. 

A standout feature of this system is the Left Turn Intersection Support, extending protection to pedestrians and vehicles during left turns. 

Thanks to in-vehicle cameras and front-grille-mounted millimeter-wave radar, LSS+ 2.5 and 3.0’s Pre-Collision System executes an excellent job detecting vehicles in front. This capability extends to recognizing a preceding bicyclist in the daytime and a preceding pedestrian in both daytime and low-light conditions. 

While the system can provide steering assistance and automatically apply brakes upon detecting a potential frontal collision, Lexus emphasizes the importance of not solely relying on this technology. 

Recognizing the system's limitations, especially during inclement weather or on curved roads, is crucial for responsible driving.

Operating between speeds of approximately 7 to 110 MPH, the Pre-Collision System offers a range of alerts to prompt driver intervention. Brake Assist also comes into play, providing additional braking force if the driver responds promptly. 

In extreme cases where the risk of a frontal collision is extremely high, the system autonomously applies the brakes, potentially avoiding a collision or minimizing its impact. The system's capabilities extend to detecting pedestrians in certain conditions, prompting driver alerts, and, if necessary, automated braking. 

The in-vehicle camera analyzes size, profile, and motion to identify potential pedestrians. More so, the LSS+ supports adjustable settings for alert timing and the option to turn the Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection on or off. These features allow drivers to tailor the system to their comfort and driving style. 

2. Lane Departure Alert

  • Standard: GX
Lexus Safety System+ Lane Departure Alert.

The Lane Departure Alert system is often a primary component of modern ADAS systems. The LSS+’s Lane Departure Alert system uses an in-vehicle camera to detect lane markers and the vehicle's position on the road.

Standard in the Lexus GX model, this system emits audible and visual alerts when it senses unintentional lane deviations, acting as a virtual co-pilot for the driver. 

The LSS+’s Lane Departure Alert functions at speeds of approximately 32 MPH or higher on relatively straight roadways. 

The equipped vehicle's infotainment display provides real-time feedback, with empty lines indicating disabled operation or undetected lane markings and filled lines signifying proper detection. Visual alerts flash in orange, offering an intuitive signal when the system is actively engaged. 

This feature, too, allows users to adjust Lane Departure Alert settings, including the option to turn the function on or off and modify alert sensitivity. 

Lexus advises drivers not to overly rely on the system, especially in challenging conditions like heavy rain, fog, snow, or during and after driving on a curve. 

2b. Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist

  • Standard: NX | RX | IS | ES | RC | RC F | LS | LX | UX
Lexus Safety System+ Lande Departure Warning with Steering Assist.

The LSS+’s Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist comes standard in several Lexus models, ranging from the NX and RX SUVs to the IS and LS sedans

This system combines a camera-based approach with steering assistance to enhance lane-keeping capabilities and promote a safer driving experience. It works at speeds above 32 mph on straight roadways and uses a camera to monitor visible lane markings. 

If it detects signs of unintentional lane departure, it promptly warns the driver to execute corrective steering actions. This feature not only alerts the driver but also takes slight corrective measures to help keep the vehicle within the marked lane. 

In certain vehicles with electronic power steering (EPS), Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist introduces a steering assist function. 

This means that if the system senses an impending unintentional lane departure, it may provide small corrective steering inputs to keep the vehicle within its lane for a brief period. 

Like the standard Lane Departure Alert system, the LDA with SA also allows customizable audio and visual alerts. Also, the Steering Assist function alone can be activated or deactivated, with sensitivity adjustments available. 

2c. Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist and Lane Keep Assist

  • Standard: LC
Lexus Safety System+ Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist and Lane Keep Assist.

In the pursuit of an unparalleled driving experience, Lexus introduced Lane Departure Alert bundled with Steering Assist and Lane Keep Assist. The bundled trio is standard on the LC Grand Tourer fastback coupe. 

This comprehensive system goes beyond warning and steering assistance to actively assist the driver in staying within the current lane. Lane Keep Assist, when activated, assists the driver with steering operations necessary for remaining within the visibly marked lane. 

This is particularly valuable when the Dynamic Radar Cruise Control is engaged, providing an integrated experience for drivers seeking a seamless combination of cruise control and lane-keeping assistance. 

Lexus empowers LC drivers with customization options for Lane Center Assist, part of the Lane Keep Assist feature. Using the DISP switch on the steering wheel, drivers can easily activate or deactivate this function, tailoring their driving experience to align with personal preferences. 

Note that Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist and Lane Keep Assist is a driver-assist function that deactivates when the driver is not holding the steering wheel and steering. This emphasizes the necessity for driver engagement and active participation for the system to operate effectively. 

Also, note that the Lane Keep Assist function only works when Dynamic Radar Cruise Control is active. This means the Lane Keep Assist function is automatically inactive when the cruise control is deactivated. 

See also: Honda Sensing: A Comprehensive Review Of The Features, Versions, And Compatible Models - All You Need To Know

3. Intelligent High Beams

  • Standard: IS | ES | LS | UX | NX | RX | GX | LX | RC & RC F | LC
Lexus Safety System+ Intelligent High Beams.

Lexus introduced Intelligent High Beams to a lineup of select models, designed to optimize nighttime visibility while ensuring the safety of both the driver and oncoming traffic. 

This innovative system intelligently switches between high and low beams to promote a safer and more comfortable driving experience.

Intelligent High Beams works by defaulting to high-beam mode when the road ahead is clear, automatically transitioning to low beams when the system detects the headlamps or taillamps of vehicles ahead. 

This adaptive illumination not only maximizes the driver's field of vision at night but also minimizes the risk of dazzling other drivers. 

4a. High-Speed Dynamic Radar Cruise Control

  • Standard: RC F | GX
Lexus Safety System+ High-Speed Dynamic Radar Cruise Control.

Lexus introduced High-Speed Dynamic Radar Cruise Control as a standard feature in RC F and GX models. This system enhances the conventional "constant speed" cruise control by introducing a vehicle-to-vehicle distance control mode. 

It aids drivers by automatically adjusting vehicle speed to maintain a pre-set distance from a preceding vehicle when it is traveling at a lower speed. It does this via grille-mounted millimeter-wave radar and an in-vehicle camera. 

If the detected vehicle is traveling slower than the set speed or within the set distance range, the system autonomously decelerates the vehicle, even applying brakes if necessary. 

Once the road ahead is clear, the system seamlessly accelerates to the preset speed, ensuring a smooth and adaptive cruising experience. 

High-Speed Dynamic Radar Cruise Control operates at speeds of approximately 25 to 110 MPH, providing drivers with a wide range of adaptability. 

Drivers can customize the vehicle-to-vehicle distance settings, selecting from Long (default), Medium, or Short distances, catering to their individual preferences. 

4b. All-Speed Dynamic Radar Cruise Control

  • Standard: LS | ES | IS | RC | LC | UX | NX | RX | LX
Lexus Safety System+ All-Speed Dynamic Radar Cruise Control.

The LSS+’s All-Speed Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, standard on various Lexus models, is a comprehensive system that not only maintains a preset speed but also adapts to various traffic conditions. 

This system enhances the driving experience by automatically adjusting speed and following distance in diverse scenarios, from highway speeds to stop-and-go traffic. It detects vehicles ahead via millimeter-wave radar and a camera sensor. 

Whether at highway speeds or in stop-and-go traffic, the system can automatically slow the vehicle and, in some cases, bring it to a complete stop. 

An all-speed following function has been added to the system, contributing to a more relaxed and comfortable driving experience in congested traffic. 

The ability to operate at speeds ranging from 0 to 110 mph allows the system to cover a wide spectrum of driving conditions. The system also allows adjusting the distance between vehicles. 

Lexus Safety System+ 2.0 vs. 2.5 vs. 3.0

Lexus Safety System+ 2.0 vs. 2.5 vs. 3.0.

Each version of the Lexus Safety System+, including the 2.0, 2.5, and 3.0, comes with varying features and components. The table below is a breakdown of the features included in the different versions: 

LSS+ 2.0LSS+ 2.5LSS+ 3.0
1. Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection: This system uses radar and cameras to detect potential collisions with vehicles or pedestrians and can apply automatic emergency braking if necessary.
2. Lane Departure Alert: It alerts the driver if the vehicle starts to drift out of its lane without using a turn signal.
3. Intelligent High Beams: This system automatically toggles between high and low beams to provide optimal visibility for the driver and oncoming vehicles.
In addition to the features of the 2.0 version, the 2.5 version includes:
1. Enhanced Lane Tracing Assist: This system combines lane centering and adaptive cruise control to help keep the vehicle centered in its lane and maintain a safe distance from the vehicle ahead.
2. All-Speed Dynamic Radar Cruise Control: It maintains a set distance from the vehicle ahead and can adjust speed according to traffic conditions.
The 3.0 version includes all the features of the 2.0 and 2.5 versions, with the addition of:
1. Curve Speed Management: This feature is added to the Dynamic Radar Cruise Control and can automatically adjust the vehicle's speed before entering a curve based on road data and the vehicle's speed.
2. Additional Intersection Support: This feature enhances the pre-collision system by detecting oncoming vehicles when making a left turn at an intersection and can apply automatic emergency braking if necessary.

Note that the availability of specific features may vary depending on the Lexus model and year. It is always recommended to refer to the official Lexus documentation or contact a Lexus dealership for the most accurate and up-to-date information on the specific features and capabilities of the Lexus Safety System+ in different models.

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