Toyota Unveils Self Driving Prototype

January 4, 2013 by  
Filed under Car Safety

According to recent news agencies, Toyota has recently unveiled its self-drive car ahead of upcoming tech show.

The reports indicate that the automaker has launched a video showing the new self-driving car developed by Lexus. The safety technologies added to this vehicle have been designed to make roads safer by minimizing the risk of crashes by eliminating human error with the help of on-board radars, sensors and video cameras to monitor the road and the surroundings.

According to a spokesperson, Toyota has also developed a communication technology that allows vehicles to communicate with other cars. The self-driving car is also equipped with “Intelligent Transport Systems”, which is a technology developed exclusively by Lexus. The prototype uses this technology and other technologies already employed by Toyota in order to scan the driver to make sure he or she is awake and alert by checking if the motorist stop at traffic signals and keeps the car on the road.

Although this may not be the full autonomous vehicle everyone may have been expecting, Toyota executives are hopeful that this technology will represent a major step toward a new automated era, which could make it possible for other automakers to develop their own self-driving technology.
Toyota has also announced that one of the technologies employed by this prototype car will allow the vehicle to communicate with the driver’s smartphone in order to offer increased reality figures. This technology could offer services by allowing the vehicle to know about places by the road letting it. If the driver needs restaurant or other businesses recommendation, the car would be able to offer that.

According to the news, Toyota is one of the many automakers developing technology that will offer a communication capability that would link cars in order to exchange information on the road and the traffic.  According to the official reports, other automakers have already developed semi-autonomous technologies like the self-parking system engineered by Volvo and demonstrated during the latest CES. In 2011, Google was awarded a full autonomous car patent in 2011. The company was able to push a Nevada driving license for its autonomous car technology in May of 2012 and is now working on obtaining the same license in California.

Volvo also tested its self-driving convoy on a motorway in Spain during in May of 2012.

According to a professor from Oxford University, autonomous vehicle technology will offer something drivers cannot live up to: computers are always alert. Distraction can be eliminated if a computer is at the wheel. According to experts, car systems can be fully engineered and designed to keep an eventual failure from resulting in a crash.

One of the new technologies being developed now includes lasers and radars to make vehicles “sense”  hazards, cars, pedestrians, etc.

To learn more about this technology, click here to read the full article.


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