Japanese flagship limo adds autonomous technology that can detect and steer away from pedestrians.
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Lexus Australia has announced some specification upgrades for its flagship LS500 and LS500h limousines, in the form of new active safety and driver assistance technologies.

Headlining the additions is a new pedestrian avoidance system which can recognise an imminent collision with a pedestrian and control the vehicle's steering and braking to avoid the accident – dubbed active steering assist.

"[It's] designed to determine when there is a high possibility of collision with a pedestrian in the lane of travel or with some continuous structures, such as a guardrail," Lexus says in its press release.

"If it calculates that brake control alone will be insufficient to avoid a collision, the system can provide steering assistance in addition to activating an alert and applying the brakes."

"When active steering assist is deployed, the car will only move within a clearly marked lane. The system automatically checks for any vehicles in the car's blind spots, including motorcycles," the company adds.

Supplementing active steering assist is a new pedestrian alert function, which alerts the driver via a head-up display if it senses a collision with a vulnerable road user is imminent.

Other new features include lateral side radar pre-collision assist (senses vehicles approaching diagonally at up to 50m in front of the vehicle) and front cross-traffic alert – the latter detects vehicles or bicycles approaching from either side of the LS within a 7.0-metre distance travelling between 10 and 60km/h.

Rounding out the additional assistance technologies are lane-tracing assist, which works with the adaptive cruise control system to centre the vehicle within its lane and provide steering assistance for semi-autonomous driving, along with road-sign assist (or traffic sign recognition).

The new features are now standard across the LS500/LS500h F Sport and Sports Luxury grades, bar the front cross-traffic function which is exclusive to the higher-spec Sports Luxury variant.

As for pricing, the additional specification sees a slight increase for 2019 between $250 and $871 depending on variant. See the table below for more details.

2019 Lexus LS pricing

  • LS500 F Sport – $190,500
  • LS500h F Sport – $190,750
  • LS500 Sports Luxury – $195,900
  • LS500h Sports Luxury – $196,125

All prices exclude on-road costs