USA: Toyota cars to get auto engine shut off & auto park

Darnell Taylor
June 17, 2019

After deploying automatic shutoff, the system will be updated to include smartphone app notifications as an added reminder. After a pre-determined period of time has passed with the driver out of the auto and the engine running, it will automatically shut off.

In a move to increase safety for drivers and passengers of Toyota vehicles, the automaker will add two new features to its lineup starting with most 2020MY vehicles.

Toyota to bring Automatic Park and Auto Shut off to 2020 models. The feature will automatically kill the engine after a pre-determined period. Also, starting from Model Year 2020, Toyota will begin to phase in Automatic Park, which is created to help reduce the risk of roll-away. This will be introduced as an extension of the Smart Key System (SKS) Toyota is now installed in Toyota cars.

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The first of the two systems is called Automatic Park, which is pretty self-explanatory. This system automatically shifts the vehicle into park and/or applies the parking brake if the driver exits the vehicle without placing it in park.

Toyota vehicles come with audible and visual warnings if the vehicle isn't in park. Toyota offers no indication of how long the rollout of the features might take. The reason has been identified as "keyless" proximity fobs and push-button start, where owners, perhaps older drivers more accustomed to a keyed ignition, overlooked the fact they didn't turn off the engine, which flooded their homes with exhaust fumes. The feature will be available in vehicles with an electronic means of shifting and/or applying the parking brake. This new equipment, Toyota says, should prevent vehicles from rolling away.

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