Toyota Not Pushing For Self Driving Cars


Published on December 16th, 2013 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez


Toyota Not Pushing For Self Driving Cars


Toyota wants the driver to remain the most important decision-maker in the car despite the influx of technology that can take away that responsibility and rising pressure from rivals determined to debut self-driving vehicles by 2020.

“We believe that it should be the driver that is at the center; the driver should take the initiatives,” Toyota’s managing officer for vehicle control systems, Moritaka Yoshida. He said that is Toyota conclusion after more than two decades of research on autonomous and automated driving.

“Think about airplanes,” Yoshida said during an interview on the sidelines of the Tokyo auto show last month. “They have an autopilot, but when it comes to important operations, the pilot will always take over and the system will support the pilot’s maneuvers. So the same with the cars, the driver should be at the center.”

Yoshida said Toyota’s research in the field will continue at a “very high level,” adding that the world’s largest automaker would offer automated driving systems but not autonomous driving systems.

In contrast, tech giant Google promises to commercialize the autonomous driving technology within five years, pushing automakers to speed up their R&D.

Daimler and Nissan say that by 2020 they will be ready to offer an autonomous car, and General Motors says it will offer a self-driving feature that can be toggled on and off, like cruise control.

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