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https://www.yahoo.com/autos/toyota-developing-autonomous-highway-teammate-144108847.html

Toyota plans to roll out new technology that will allow its vehicles to autonomously navigate limited-access roadways. Dubbed "Highway Teammate," and set to go into production by 2020, the system will be able to change lanes, merge with traffic and overtake slower vehicles.

Toyota is the latest automaker to lay out plans for the fast-emerging world of self-driving vehicles. But while its announcement is meant to underscore the maker's technical prowess, it also reveals Toyota's "cautious" nature, the Japanese giant still skeptical about the pace at which high-tech automobiles will be able to take over driving duties from humans.

Toyota's system is less an auto-pilot than co-pilot, designed to handle relatively mundane chores as an assistant to a human driver who will remain in control, especially on more crowded urban roads. Some competitors, notably including Nissan, hope to have fully autonomous products that can navigate all roads on sale by as early as 2020.

"Toyota believes that interactions between drivers and cars should mirror those between close friends who share a common purpose, sometimes watching over each other and sometimes helping each other out," the maker said prior to a demonstration of the Highway Teammate technology in Tokyo.


Toyota's autonomous systems is, for now, restricted to use on limited-access roadways.

Toyota has been testing its semi-autonomous on the notoriously crowded Shuto Expressway in Tokyo, using a modified version of a Lexus GS sedan. As with competitive systems, it relies on detailed satellite-based navigation and a variety of cameras and other onboard sensors to get a sense of what's happening on the road nearby.

But focusing on highway testing underscores the fact that, "We're a cautious company," said Toyota Vice President Scott Vazin. The maker, he added, doesn't believe fully autonomous vehicles will "cut the mustard," at least not in the short-term.

Driving on a freeway can be a complex chore, studies showing that a driver must make dozens of calculations every minute. But navigating a city street is ever more complex, Vazin added, and may pose some challenges that are, at least for now, impossible to program into a computer. What happens, for example, if a vehicle is in a situation where it either hits a young boy who has dashed onto the street or otherwise drives head on into a vehicle coming the other direction?
 

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Looks like Toyota is throwing their hat in the ring as well. All of the automakers will have it. Question is, do they design their own app or partner with an app company?? Something tells me, Uber will be obsolete soon
 

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That's interesting, Japan said it wants self driving taxis for the 2020 Olympics. But this article points to open highway driving and passing by 2020.

I suspect what they want for the Olympics is a controlled scenario on limited roads in a non-urban setting.
 

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Toyota is just trying to stay relevant in the public's mind, they don't wanna look like the old guy at the party. But I don't think they're really down for this. I blame Google. They recently brought members of the media to their test facilities to try and influence them to write articles about their self driving car program. They are going all out to try to disrupt and monopolize the auto industry. Nobody is highlighting the fact that all machinery, whether mechanic, electrical or digital does fail at some point. More drivers who are interested in keeping the occupation alive need to raise their voices because we are not being heard.
 
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