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Toyota Uses Sumo Wrestlers to Demonstrate New Safety Package

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Why is the Toyota Prius like a pack of seven sumo wrestlers? No, this isn’t a joke; this is the premise for the automaker’s unique commercial for its new Safety Sense package of active safety technologies. Seven of these Japanese wrestlers travel around Los Angeles demonstrating Toyota Safety Sense technology in the context of (fake) sumo wrestling moves.

The five moves demonstrated by the seven sumo wrestlers are Sundomari (Stop Short), Hikimodoshi (Pull Back), Oimawashi (Follow), Mitsukedashi (Detect), and Omoiyari (Consideration). In real life, this means the following:

toyota safety sense Pre-collision system sumo wrestler commercial

Sundomari (Stop Short): This is the car’s Pre-collision system that helps prevent it from hitting a sudden obstruction, such as a pedestrian running into the road. This system also allows a line of cars equipped with the technology to stop in succession. The wrestlers demonstrate this when a pack of cheerleaders veer into the road ahead of them and they are able to avoid colliding.

toyota safety sense Lane Departure Alert sumo wrestlers

Hikimodoshi (Pull Back): This “technique” refers to Toyota’s lane departure alert, which warns the driver when he is in danger of swerving out of his lane. For the sumo wrestlers, this technique allows them to pull back into the center of the lane after becoming distracted by a billboard.

toyota safety sense Radar Cruise Control sumo wrestlers

Oimawashi (Follow): In other words, radar cruise control, which allows the vehicle to sense and respond to the proximity and speed of vehicles both behind and in front of it, or those merging from or to another lane. Oimawashi allows the sumo wrestlers to maintain a fixed distance between each other in their strange conga line.

toyota safety sense Automatic High Beam sumo wrestlers

Mitsukedashi (Detect) and Omoiyari (Consideration): These two “techniques” refer to the car’s automatic high beam function, which senses the headlights of other vehicles and switches between high- and low-beam when needed, so the driver can focus on the road. The sumo wrestlers demonstrate this with their headlamps, which point straight forward until someone is detected moving towards them, when they drop their heads so their lights shine downwards.

The commercial features genuine reactions from passersby who gave their permission to be included. Most of the reactions are unsurprising—even in Los Angeles, you don’t expect to see a pack of sumo wrestlers running past you randomly. It’s quite lengthy at over three minutes, but well worth the watch.