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April 8, 2021

Toyota Now Has Its Own Self-Driving Tech Called Advanced Drive

Toyota will be rolling out its own autonomous driving technology which it calls Advanced Drive. Available in select Lexus LS and Mirai vehicles in Japan, it will unlock self-driving features by allowing the car and driver to communicate with each other like “close friends” (Toyota’s words, not ours).

Advanced Drive not only scans the surrounding environment around a vehicle continuously, but provides a suggested course of action for the driver to take. This two-way assist, Toyota says, fosters trust between the car and driver.

For now, Toyota is unlocking Advanced Drive on expressways. Once activated (it’s geo-locked using GPS), it can keep the vehicle in its lane, maintain distance from other vehicles, navigate a lane split, change lanes, and even overtake other vehicles.

What makes Advanced Drive different from other systems, according to Toyota, is that the entire experience is human-centric. For example, when passing a large or wide vehicle, it will increase its berth by driving further to the opposite side. When changing lanes and passing, the driver will first confirm a lane change by operating the turn signal.

The Advanced Drive system utilizes a driver monitoring camera to check whether the driver’s paying attention or not. If the system determines that the driver isn’t, it will issue a warning. In case it detects possible signs of sleepiness, it will go so far to vibrate the seat belts to wake the driver up. If the driver still doesn’t respond, it will automatically bring the vehicle to a halt in the lane or on the shoulder (if available) and call emergency services.

The best part of Advanced Drive is that it’s updatable via OTA (Over-the-Air) updates. With this, Toyota will be able to improve features which are already built in, and even unlock more functionalities.

For now, the Toyota Advanced Drive will launch in the Lexus LS 500h and Toyota Mirai in Japan starting today.

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