The new era of modern cars is definitely coming. It is proved by the announcement of one of the world-class corporations Toyota Motors, situated in Torrance, California.
They are currently working on a so-called “self-driving” vehicle, which will allow making the whole driving process not only easier but also safer. The achievements of the company have been showed during the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.
According to the information from the Toyota representatives, a special ground has already been created in Japanese Toyota City (where the sales headquarter of North American Toyota parent company is located). It has been modeled after the real environment. Thus, there are roads, cars and even pedestrians in that full replica. The North American department is now working on their own autonomous vehicle.
The managers call the new vehicle not a “self-driving”, but a “co-pilot” model, as their philosophy claims that the driver must always be a part of the process. The key task of Toyota is to make driving better. Thus, the priority of the cars driving themselves is not the main ones by now. The most important and near-term strategy is searching for more high-tech control and monitoring systems. Nevertheless, the car will still be able to drive itself.
The new technologies are quite promising, but there is much unknown. The vehicle is expected to exceed the human capacities greatly. It will see further and clearer, it will know the exact location and it will “sense” the surroundings. For people, it seems both amazing and unexplored. Not only the drivers but also the governments and regulators should accept these novelties. Many things must be thought over and worked out.
The capabilities of the new car from Toyota Motors will include detection of the surroundings together with the automatic response to them and observation of the various objects in the distance (about 230 feet) by means of the laser system. Besides, it will be equipped with a high-definition color camera, front and side radars, which will allow to measure the distance with other vehicles and see traffic lights. What’s more, they are going to implement a special system of communication (vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure). With the help of it, the car will manage to interact with traffic signs and lights, send signals about approaching cars, turnings and so on. For instance, it can warn of swerving off the road to make the driver aware of the fact that the car is not slow enough to avoid impact. The majority of accidents happens because of the people’s mistakes. Therefore, such technologies will significantly lower the risks and number of fatalities – it is stated as the principal goal of Toyota Motors Corporation. They believe that the drive might become better with the help of that car.
However, it is just research by now. It is based upon already existent model – Lexus LS 460, which has been introduced in 2013. It took some time to make this vehicle commercially available. The corporation allowed the team of PhDs to make research of every move of the construction process. The car has high-definition cameras, wave radar, and even infrared projectors. All the features of 460 are automated.
There is a possibility to test a new vehicle on the roads of Nevada state, as the other company has already gained a permission for testing of the similar model.
Thus, the future autonomous motor won’t immediately become price-wise. It will take some time to introduce and study all the features and technologies. Only after this Toyota co-pilot car will receive a payoff.