The first big name in the development of autonomous vehicles was Google, which had logged quite a few miles before the legislation to allow the vehicles on the road was even approved. Not being a car company itself, Google mostly used Toyota vehicles, specifically the Prius, and we’re guessing it made Toyota feel a bit insecure about not being as far along in its own program to bring out cars that drive themselves. That changes at CES 2013.
Toyota’s Lexus luxury brand has announced that it will be bringing an autonomous LS model to CES this week. It comes laden with the usual technology we’re used to seeing on such vehicles, including cameras, radar and communications equipment which talks both to other cars and transmitters in the road itself. Lexus calls the proprietary system Intelligent Transportation Systems.
The system is designed to either work with the driver or completely on its own. If it detects that the driver has fallen asleep, it will attempt to wake them, but can also take control of the vehicle if that doesn’t work. Lexus say that the system can recognize everything that a human looks for while driving, including lane lines, traffic signals and other cars. According to Inhabitat, this autonomous Lexus will be competing for attention with a new Audi system which allows the car to essentially act as its own valet. The technology is still in its infancy, and the legislation has possibly even further to go, but what’s interesting at the moment is how each manufacturer has their own take on how autonomous systems will work best.