Japanese flagship limo adds autonomous technology that can detect and steer away from pedestrians.

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