While driving off-road can be a lot of fun, it can also be a challenging and dangerous activity, especially if you’re not a skilled 4×4 driver. Well thanks to some cool technology in Toyota’s trucks you can rest a little easier when driving off-road or in challenging terrain.
I recently had an opportunity to test out a couple of Toyota’s trucks with their new five-speed CRAWL control, a technology which helps drivers focus on steering while off-road, increasing safety and driving efficiency in difficult terrain.
At the center of the system is the ability for the vehicle to automatically regulate engine speed and braking force, while all the driver needs to do is turn the wheel. So when you’re making your way across rough ground or steep grades, the truck can do almost all of the work for you. The system works its magic by watching the wheel speed at each corner of the vehicle, and modulates the powertrain and braking system to ensure a safe and stable speed as you navigate treacherous roads.
You can use lower speeds to navigate rocky terrain downhill, while the higher speeds are best for uphill climbs on rocks, snow or gravel. Plus it works in either Drive or Reverse. And even if you’re not going off-road, the Hill-Start assist feature is very helpful if you live somewhere with steep hills. It automatically holds the car still at the top of a hill, so you don’t constantly need to keep your foot on both the brake and the gas.
There’s also a nifty mode called Off-Road Turn Assist which helps you make extremely tight turns by pulsing the rear brakes individually, depending on the direction of the steer. Think of what happens if you lock up a single wheel on a shopping cart – it pivots. This same principle is at work here, and all you need to do is turn the wheel. The truck takes care of the rest.