By 2020, Toyota envisions highway driving that leaves the hard part to the vehicle—not the driver. As thus Toyota plans to make some of its cars fully capable of self-driving on highways.
Toyota unveiled its vision for self-driving cars in a challenge to other automakers as well as industry newcomer Google Inc., promising to start selling such vehicles in Japan by 2020.
Toyota Motor Corp. demonstrated on a regular Tokyo freeway Tuesday what it called the "mobility teammate concept," meaning the driver and the artificial intelligence in a sensor-packed car work together as a team. The Japanese automaker’s technology aims to make the car a partner, or teammate—not replace the driver completely.
Toyota's plans are part of a larger Japanese government initiative to pioneer automated driving in time for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. It also marks a shift for Toyota, which has been working on such technology since the 1990s but with great caution, warning that the idea of a driverless car was unrealistic, even dangerous.