Toyota has been working on a new headrest system, called the Active Headrest, which is aimed at reducing the risk of whiplash injuries sustained during low-speed rear impacts. In the lower end of the seatback there is a trigger unit which activates when the occupants lower back is pressed onto it during a rear-end collission. The result of this trigger is that the headrest moves diagonally upwards (30mm up and 25mm forward) quickly enough to securely catch the back of the head before the actual whiplash occurs. According to in-house tests the severity of whiplash injuries was reduced by 10-20%, although this can't be a guaranteed since Toyota can not assume that every driver is sitting in the seat the same way (seatbelt, position, etc). Overall a useful innovation from the land of the rising sun which will be debuting in new vehicle models shortly. Press release after the jump.

Gallery: Toyota Active Headrest