Beginning with the model year 2020, Toyota will include automatic engine shut off and auto-park features in its new vehicles. If a vehicle is left running for a predetermined amount of time, the engine will automatically shut off. If a driver exits a vehicle without putting it in park, it will automatically shift and/or apply the parking brake.
While these may seem like simple safety updates, they are important. Drivers have left their cars on in their garages because they don’t realize the ignition is on, and an auto-park feature may have saved Star Trek actor Anton Yelchin, who was killed in a “rollaway” accident. While Toyota already has visual and audible warnings that alert drivers that the car is on or in gear, these features will go one step further.