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Toyota and Lexus showcase autonomous research vehicle

Sarah Jacobsson Purewal | Jan. 8, 2013
Toyota is jumping cautiously onto the self-driving car bandwagon. On Monday, the company showcased an "advanced active safety research vehicle" (a tricked-out Lexus LS460), which they are using to test out various autonomous driving features.

Toyota plans to test its new research vehicle in its Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) proving grounds, which are located in Toyota City, Japan. The 8.6-acre proving grounds are designed to mimic an urban driving environment, complete with roads, traffic signals, simulated real-life driving situations such as other vehicles and pedestrians.

The company will use its tests on the proving grounds as research for its ITS technology, which involves short-range vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure communication. ITS cars are able to "talk," using near-field communication, to other vehicles as well as their surrounding environment, to help alert drivers to potential dangers and collisions. For example, in an ITS environment, a car might be able to get an alert from a blind intersection that another car is approaching.


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