Toyota, Audi Prep Self-Driving Cars

Standard

By Ian Sherr and Mike Ramsey

Toyota Motor Corp. and Audi AG are throwing their hats into the ring of potential suppliers of self-driving vehicles.

Both auto makers confirmed on Thursday that they will be demonstrating autonomous-driving features at the Consumer Electronics Show in the coming week, signaling a new effort to raise the technology’s profile among consumers.

In a preview video posted to its website on Thursday, Toyota showed a five-second clip of one of its Lexus brand cars outfitted with various sensors and the caption, “Lexus advanced active safety research vehicle is leading the industry into a new automated era.”

An Audi official also said the luxury-car company will be demonstrating autonomous vehicle capabilities at the Las Vegas show, including a feature that allows a car to find a parking space and park itself without a driver behind the wheel.

Toyota’s prototype vehicle is a Lexus LS 600h fitted with radar and camera equipment that can detect other vehicles, road lane lines and traffic signals, giving the vehicle the ability to navigate streets without a driver. It also includes what appears to be the same roof-mounted laser that Google Inc. has been using on its autonomous research cars. Google began testing self-driving cars in 2009.

 

To read the rest of the story, either contact me directly or read more online at the WSJ: here. (subscription required)

 

(Published January 3, 2013, in The Wall Street Journal.)