Toyota's "slow" evolution to vehicle autonomy

Matt Diagnostician Red Wing, Minnesota Posted   Latest  


This only makes sense to me. I'm somewhat taken aback by how many are seemingly leap-frogging this (seemingly?) natural progression to full autonomy (Uber, Waymo, etc).

They do mention the accident(s) involving "autonomous" (none, that I know of were ever classified fully autonomous or didn't require/demand driver/pilot involvement) vehicles and the lack of stimuli. This, to me, does speak volumes as to just how GOOD the current systems are already, with minimal engagement being required of these drivers were most certainly not on their vehicle's maiden voyage.

Richard Instructor
Palmetto, Florida

I was just thinking about this very thing this morning as I'm driving and playing around with the lane keep and auto braking systems on my rental car.

a quote from that article:

“I think there's a lot of loose terminology that gets used both within the industry and within the media, so it kind of confuses the landscape. For consumers, do they have the right expectations of what the system can do, and what are the limits of that system?”

I'm in my third rental car for the month (Toyota/GM/Mazda) and each one has had drastically different reactions to very similar situations. Before we get to fully autonomous vehicles, the consumer is going to have to understand what the car can do and what its supposed to do. 

Does anyone know if there is any talk of standardizing the terms or operation of these systems? (I know, that's probably a hilariously dumb question)

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Craig Manager
Grand Rapids, Michigan

The point here is this: Drivers are not a dependable back up because the car usually does so well automated.

Toyota's solution is: Make drivers more engaged, so they are better back up, but don't automate?

If I have to be fully engaged... I'm not buying a car with all that technology. It's all the cost of an automated vehicle, with few of the benefits.

Am I reading this wrong, or is "Guardian" a self driving car you have to drive?

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Bob Mobile Technician
West Chicago, Illinois

“With Guardian we imagine really keeping the driver engaged all the time and the system working with you to make you a superhuman driver.”

I drive somewhere around 30K+ miles a year for work in the Chicago metro area. What I see is drivers are more and more distracted. Having performed a couple ADAS calibrations, I've found Toyota to be the least impressive. The biggest trouble with all of them IMO is the marketing. They all seem to be telling the public, buy our car and you won't get into an accident.

At what point do the dealers need to require customers to take a coarse on how to operate the vehicle before driving it off the lot?

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Matt Diagnostician
Red Wing, Minnesota

I would argue they should have had to for the last decade.

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Jim Curriculum Developer
Frederick, Maryland

My initial reaction is that this seems to be a smart approach. Looking at the levels of automation defined, some of the issues in progressing is the spot where the car is autonomous until......... The driver is not a reliable backup if they are lulled into a false sense of security. Keeping the drive engaged seems to be an attempt to avoid that negative nexus. It could also be an effective strategy for gaining driver buy in and transition to fully autonomous mode while gathering mileage and operational data on a vehicle that still requires driver engagement. 

This seems to go with Ford's stated approach of leaping over that area for similar reasons. 

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Andrew Technician
Commack, New York

Mercedes has been developing this kind of technology for a very long time. I have seen a development video somewhere of the module constructing a 3D model of the environment around the car in real time as it is driven down the highway. Pretty crazy.


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