The 4×4 Guide – Part 2: Prado Driver Assist Technology(DAT)


Driver Assist Technology (DAT) is a technological development from Toyota; Introduced in the Land Cruiser Parado, DAT encapsulates the latest advances in 4WD technology, enabling drivers to conquer the extraordinary. DAT embodies innovation such as Constant 4WD, Torque sensing limited slip center differential with lock, Limited Slip Rear Differential, Downhill Assist Control, Hill-Start Assist Control, Generation II Traction Control, Vehicle Stability Control, Toyota’s Electronic Modulated Suspension, Rear Height Control Air Suspension, Anti-Skid Brakes with Electronic Brake Force Distribution and Brake Assist . All allowing the Prado to ‘think’, quietly compensating for changes in terrain and traction. (Note: DAT specifications are model dependent).

Nowhere is the concept of Driver Assist Technology (DAT) better expressed than in the sophisticated four-wheel-drive system. So the driver can conquer more conditions, with more control.

Constant 4WD:

A feature of DAT, Constant 4WD ensures all four wheels are driving, for sure-footed grip in all conditions, on-road and off.

Limited slip rear differential (not on VX or Grande):

A feature of DAT, the limited slip rear differential ensures that in slippery and undulating conditions, power is distributed to whichever rear wheel has the most traction in difficult off-road terrain. This helps the driver remain firmly in control under slippery off-road conditions.

Downhill Assist Control (DAC) (VX and Grande only):

For the driver of the Prado VX or Grande, control downhill is looking up, thanks to Toyota’s innovative new DAC (Downhill Assist Control). DAC automatically manages engine speed and applies engine braking on steep slippery inclines, for better grip and straighter tracking. DAC will maintain a speed of approximately 5-7 km/h in forward and 3-5 km/h in reverse by braking each wheel individually as needed. DAC also helps keep Prado from sliding away on slippery surfaces.

Hill-Start Assist Control (HAC) (VX and Grande only):

When the vehicle starts off on a steep or slippery hill, the vehicle could descend backwards while the driver moves from the brake pedal to the accelerator pedal, thus making it difficult for the vehicle to start off. To prevent this from occurring, HAC temporarily (for approximately 5 seconds) applies the brakes to the 4 wheels in order to reduce the backward speed of the vehicle.

Generation II Traction Control (TRC) (VX and Grande only):

Maintain grip on slippery surfaces with the latest Generation II Traction Control (TRC). TRC senses when a wheel slips and brakes each wheel independently, thus distributing more power to the wheels with greatest traction. This makes everyday driving more responsive and more relaxing. While in an emergency TRC keeps you safe, helping you maintain control, with minimum fuss. On VX and Grande models only.

Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) (VX and Grande only):

On VX and Grande models only, this innovative DAT feature aids the driver by intelligently sensing over-steering or under-steering when turning. VSC calculates vehicle speed and steering wheel input, and determines the appropriate path the vehicle should be following in order to help prevent skidding. VSC then controls the amount of power distributed to each wheel, to help keep you driving safely on your intended line through a corner

Rear Height Control Air Suspension (Grande only):

This suspension adds to Prado Grande’s luxury and versatility by providing several options for rear height control, to clear rough terrain. Using adjustable rear pneumatic cylinders instead of coils, it includes an ‘auto-leveling’ mode, which constantly adjusts to keep the vehicle level at all times. This is perfect for towing boats or caravans as well as carrying heavy loads in the cargo area. A center console-mounted switch allows the driver to manually raise and lower the rear suspension for easier access of passengers and cargo.

Toyota Electronically Modulated Suspension (TEMS) (Grande only):

The TEMS system is designed to optimize Prado Grande’s on and off-road handling performance. TEMS gives passenger car levels of comfort.

This Driver Assist Technology automatically controls suspension-damping force according to prevailing driver conditions. TEMS is a semi-active suspension, which automatically soaks up bumps and dips almost before you encounter them. Using sensors covering road speed, engine speed, steering direction and angle, vertical suspension acceleration rate and brake pedal operation, the suspension ECU instantly calculates the optimum damping force and operates each shock absorber actuator. The result is passenger car-like levels of ride and handling on Prado Grande.

TORSEN Limited slip centre differential – with locking function:

Prado’s unique torque sensing TORSEN limited slip centre differential (LSD) with locking function distributes a greater amount of torque to either the front wheels or rear wheels depending on which has the most traction. When engaged, the locking feature eliminates front-to-rear power adjustment for confident footing in slippery or more difficult off-road conditions.
Without the torque sensing centre differential, wheels can slip leaving you stranded, however its unique torque-sensing capability enables it to transfer up to 71 per cent of torque to the rear wheels or up to 53 per cent to the front if it senses wheel slippage at the other end. For the driver, this means improved grip and greater control in demanding off-road situations with the security of constant four-wheel drive.

Anti-Skid Brakes with Electronic Brake-Force Distribution and Brake Assist (ABS with EBD & BA):

Prado’s comprehensive ABS braking system includes an Anti-Skid Braking System (ABS) to help reduce the chance of a skid, Electronic Brake-Force Distribution (EBD) to help redistribute braking force according to changing vehicle loads and Brake Assist (BA) to help the driver apply optimum braking power during an emergency stop.

Model Range:

The LandCruiser Prado is available in four model variations: the Prado GX – the LandCruiser heritage; the enhanced performance of the Prado GXL; the additional power of the Prado VX; or the top of the range Prado Grande