Toyota to launch self-drive cars

Toyota has unveiled the next generation of cars featuring an autopilot system that will swerve to avoid collisions and also keep to the middle of the road, all without drivers touching the wheel – and the technology could be available on the market in a few years' time.

"These advanced driving support technologies prevent human errors, reduce driving stress and help drivers avert accidents, which has a big potential to reduce the number of traffic deaths," Toyota managing director Moritaka Yoshida said at a presentation in Tokyo.

Toyota said that while Automated Highway Driving Assist (AHDA) lets drivers put the vehicle on auto-pilot, leaving most of the work to the computer system, they would still need to be alert and take part in the driving process.

"Toyota recognizes the importance of the driver being in ultimate control of a vehicle and is therefore aiming to introduce AHDA and other advanced driving support systems where the driver maintains control and the fun-to-drive aspect of controlling a vehicle is not compromised," it said in a statement.

AHDA lets vehicles communicate wirelessly to avoid running into each other while keeping the car in the middle of the road lane.

The company plans to install the system in its commercial models over the next few years.

Image: © Toyota

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