Every month my concerns about autonomous cars are growing because in the mainstream you hear more about the tragic failures, not the successes they are having. It is enough for you to ask yourself a simple question – was the latest news in this area positive, or was it focused on the problems that this segment of the automotive industry brings? Anyway, it was a long time ago, because on Monday at the start of CES 2019, Toyota presented its latest project. In short – this Toyota Lexus tests two systems simultaneously.
According to the manufacturer, the Lexus LS500h prototype, based on the semi-autonomous driving model, revealed at the stand, integrates not one, but two separate autonomous systems. I am talking exactly about the “Guardian” and “Chauffeur”. The former is basically an enhanced ADAS system that performs a range of driver support functions expected by commuters. I am talking about additions like emergency braking, intelligent cruise control with radar control and lane keeping. Toyota is so confident about the current (and future) capabilities of its Guardian system that it will soon be offering it to any manufacturer willing to collaborate.
The Chauffeur system, on the other hand, is doing a bit worse, although its task is much more exalted, focusing on reaching the 4th and 5th levels of autonomy. These would allow the driver to give up the pleasure of driving and, for example, to take a nap. However, this prototype is a kind of Chauffeur training ground and therefore comes with much more sensitive equipment than the default sedan it is based on. Hence, four visual cameras providing a 360-degree view of the vehicle’s surroundings, as well as eight LiDAR sensors to further minimize any blind spots in the camera’s field of view.
Also read: Tesla competitor, Volvo Polestar 2 in the first photo