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When it comes to car safety features, manufacturers continually strive to enhance the driving experience while prioritizing passenger well-being. One such feature offered on models like the 2023 Toyota Highlander, is the full-speed range dynamic radar cruise control (DRCC). This feature offers convenience and safety by automatically adjusting the speed of your vehicle based on the distance from the vehicle ahead. 

However, it is crucial to understand that DRCC is primarily designed for use on highways. Despite being activatable at just over 20 mph, using it on city streets can pose potential safety hazards.

A blue 2023 Toyota Highlander Hybrid is parked.
The 2023 Toyota Highlander Hybrid | Toyota

Full-speed range dynamic radar cruise control on highways

The full-speed range dynamic radar cruise control is an advanced system incorporated into the 2023 Toyota Highlander, aiming to provide a smoother driving experience on highways. This feature employs radar and camera technology to detect the distance and speed of the vehicle in front of you. By maintaining a safe following distance, you’ll keep a steady pace and reduce fatigue during long highway journeys.

Usage limitations and inappropriate application

While the DRCC feature can be activated slightly above 20 mph, it is primarily designed for highway use. This restriction is due to the specific challenges encountered on city streets. For example, city driving often involves unpredictable scenarios, like pedestrians, cyclists, frequent lane changes, and sudden braking requirements.

DRCC may not be able to recognize and react appropriately to these potential obstacles, posing risks to you and others on the road.

Safety hazards of using DRCC on city streets

Sudden braking needs: City streets often require frequent braking due to traffic lights, intersections, and other unexpected situations. Relying on DRCC in such instances can lead to delayed reactions, and the system may not respond quickly enough to sudden braking needs. This delay could result in rear-end accidents.

Limited recognition of obstacles: DRCC relies on radar and camera technology to detect and maintain a safe distance from the car in front of you. However, it may not be capable of recognizing all potential obstacles, like pedestrians or cyclists crossing the road. This limitation increases the risk of accidents, particularly in busy urban areas where road users are common.

Unpredictable lane changes: City driving often involves frequent lane changes and merging, which requires active driver engagement and quick decision-making. Relying solely on DRCC may lead to delayed recognition of lane changes or an inability to respond promptly to changing traffic patterns.

Play it safe with full-speed range dynamic radar cruise control

The full-speed range dynamic radar cruise control is an advanced safety feature on the 2023 Toyota Highlander. It’s designed to enhance the driving experience on highways. While it may be activatable at speeds just above 20 mph, it is important to remember that this feature is primarily intended for use on highways only.

Inappropriate use of DRCC on city streets can introduce potential safety hazards, including delayed braking responses, limited recognition of obstacles, and unpredictable lane changes. By understanding the limitations of these features and exercising caution when utilizing them, we can maximize the benefits of automotive safety technologies.


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