Photo/IllutrationBosch unveils a new type of sensor that extends the range of detection from 90 degrees to 120 degrees. (Provided by Bosch Corp.)

  • Photo/Illustraion

YOKOHAMA--Auto companies are promoting their latest technology at an exhibition here with a focus on collision-avoidance systems following a string of high-profile accidents involving unintended acceleration in recent months.

Leading auto parts maker Denso Corp. unveiled a device at the car technology exhibition, which is running from May 22-24, that prevents accidents caused by mistakenly stepping on the accelerator instead of the brake pedal.

The device, which measures the distance between a car and an obstacle with a bumper-mounted sensor that employs ultrasonic waves, stops the vehicle if it judges that the driver has depressed the gas pedal strongly by mistake.

In April, a vehicle driven by an elderly man struck 10 people at two crosswalks before slamming into a garbage truck in Tokyo's busy Ikebukuro district, killing a mother and her 3-year-old child. Although the driver claimed that the brakes did not work properly, police believe that he accidentally stepped on the accelerator instead of the brakes.

As Denso's new acceleration-suppression device can be installed on existing cars, the company hopes to cover a wide range of vehicles if it can obtain cooperation from automakers.

German auto parts manufacturer Bosch unveiled for the first time a new sensor that "watches" the vehicle's surroundings like an eye to prevent collisions. The device extends the detectable range from the conventional 90 degrees to 120 degrees in front and can thus detect passing pedestrians and vehicles at such sites as crosswalks much earlier.

"Collision-prevention brake systems will be able to operate more swiftly than before," a company official said.