It’s our favorite kind of press release: one that details an up and coming (and much more detailed) press release and press conference. We like to consider these short little ditties the tailgating of journalism; and there’s nothing quite finer than a party before a party.
Unfortunately, this pre-game party is a little bitter sweet. It’s hinting at new, exciting technological leaps from one of the planet’s foremost automakers: Toyota and Lexus. On the other side, the news is about autonomous vehicle technology. Now, we love tech. And no doubt this new Toyota tech will be mind-bogglingly cool, but it’s taking driving out of the hands of people, something we, and many others, are not entirely sure about. More cameras, more sensors, more eco-friendly powertrains that not only save the earth but achieve new heights in performance, we’re with you. Taking the people out of driving? We’re a little more skeptical.
Now that Google is gallivanting around the California coast with a fully autonomous vehicle, the big manufacturers feel inclined to follow suit. Just the other day, Mercedes released a video detailing the autonomous features of the 2014 S-Class.
Now Lexus plans to unveil its new LS, which has been equipped with “the world’s most advanced pre-collision safety system.” Sure, safety is good. Heck, it’s great. But when the vehicle starts driving for you — even during a collision – full autonomy is sure to follow. It’s a slippery slope, and we imagine many drivers will remain hesitant towards such new technology.
The upcoming press conference is scheduled for Monday, January 7, so we’ll be sure to bring you more details as they are announced. Until then, however, we’ll be eagerly awaiting to see whether Toyota’s announcement revolves more around semi-autonomous safety tech than it does full vehicle autonomy.