Toyota is showing us their automated driving test vehicle which will serve as a foundation for related production cars set to hit the roads around the end of the decade.
Sooner or later we will all be passengers in our own cars and it seems the first step to a fully autonomous world is driverless technology for the highway. Toyota has been testing this technology for quite some time by using a modified Lexus GS known as “Highway Teammate” and they say the system will be ready in approximately five years from now.
The prototype was tested on Tokyo’s Shuto Expressway in Japan and it performed a variety of maneuvers, like merging onto or exiting highways as well as changing and maintaining lanes. It does that thanks to a multitude of external sensors which can detect nearby cars and potential hazards and based on the data obtained the system automatically operates the accelerator, brakes and steering wheel.
Audi is ahead of the game as they have announced the next generation A8 due sometime in 2017 will boast a semi-autonomous driving system enabling the full-size executive sedan to run in autonomous mode at speeds of up to 37 mph (60 km/h). Highway speeds will be possible at some point after the hardware will be perfected.