New Toyota Reduces Self-Driving Car Gizmos

New Toyota Reduces Self-Driving Car Gizmos and Doo Dads by 42%

Toyota’s newest self-driving car has a full 42% reduction in giant gizmos, cutting wind resistance and boosting fuel economy.

This week at a Prius Challenge event, the Toyota Research Institute (TRI) today displayed its 2.0 generation advanced safety research vehicle. This new Toyota looks almost identical to the first-generation Toyota advanced safety research vehicle we reported in 2013. At that time, Toyota had estimated its self-driving vehicles would be on the road by 2016. Oops.

In its 2013 announcement, Toyota anticipated that its vehicles would soon be available with highway autonomous driving. The company also claimed that its first generation could already operate autonomously. Honda, Tesla, and Mercedes, among other companies, now offer systems that can basically drive themselves on the highway. Each can follow a vehicle and match its speed, steer into moderate highway-type curves, and even come to a complete stop if the vehicle ahead does, and then speed back up. We have not yet tested a Toyota that does this.

What Toyota is a leader in is forward collision prevention with autonomous emergency braking. Most of the 2017 and 2018 new Toyota models about to go on sale now come with this active safety technology standard – including low-priced models like the base Corolla and RAV4. No other mainstream automaker has followed this important advancement by Toyota as of yet, but all have pledged to do so in a number of years. Talk is cheap.
- Toyota & Lexus just made the rest of the industry look silly regarding safety

Toyota is pursuing two paths of automated driving. The first, Guardian, will intervene when necessary but let humans drive themselves. The second, Chauffer, will be fully automated self-driving cars. We are big fans of Toyota’s safety legacy here at Torque News, but press releases from (all) automakers showing cars with huge sensors mounted externally are getting very stale.

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