Toyota tease self-driving car ahead of CES

6 Jan


Toyota has teased its new self-driving car technology ahead of CES 2013 taking place in Las Vegas next week showing us that in the future we may not have to be in front of the wheel to drive from A to Z.

Toyota showed off the technology in one of its Lexus research vehicles, which is said to “lead the industry into a new automated era.”

Much like Google’s self-driving vehicles, which have been seen driving around California in testing in recent years, Toyota has included on-board radar and video cameras to assist with the driving.

The car monitors traffic signals, other cars on the road, and even if the driver is awake while it travels at fast speeds down the road way. 

The teaser video, which lasts all of about 5 seconds, shows a prototype Lexus LS fitted with what Toyota’s described as an “Intelligent Transport Systems” (ITS) technology. It looks to be travelling at some speed, but in a straight line, before overtaking the car in front with the camera.  

“We’re looking at a car that would eliminate crashes,” a company spokesman told the BBC. “Zero-collisions is our ultimate aim.” Toyota plans to announce the car at on its Monday 7 January event at CES. 

But Toyota isn’t the only one looking to replicate scenes regularly found in Sci-Fi movies. Audi, perhaps inspired by featuring in iRobot with Will Smith, also plans to show off a self-driving car at the event, but is being a little more quiet on the exact details as of now.

The Wall Street Journal reports that Audi’s version will be able to find an unoccupied parking space on its own and even park without any assistance from the driver. 

While we still have a few years before we’ll see self-driving cars rolling out to customers in the masses, some major headway is being made. In 2011, Google was awarded an autonomous car patent and even received a self-driving car license in Nevada last May.

Pocket-lint will be hands-on with any automobile announcements at CES. The world’s largest tech trade show kicks-off Sunday.

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