Toyota plans to reveal its next-generation autonomous technologies at the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo. Toyota’s next-generation automated driving systems are already going to start arriving on Toyota and Lexus vehicles next year, but the 2020 Olympics will reveal prototypes for the future technologies.

Lexus Lane Valet
Lexus Lane Valet

Toyota sees the Odaiba waterfront area of Tokyo as the idea location to demonstrate its autonomous technology, with its wide, straight streets with little traffic. “We want to show a high-spec technology as a showcase,” Ken Koibuchi, Toyota’s executive general manager in charge of autonomous driving revealed to Automotive News.

The Olympics debut corresponds with Toyota’s goal of having the autonomous driving technology on the road by the early 2020s. That places Toyota in line with Japan’s big three automakers, since Nissan plans to have the technology available around 2020 and Honda will put Level 4 cars on the road by 2025.

Toyota’s first priority with the technology, is safety, which is why Toyota is shying away from calling it “autonomous” and instead uses the term “automated.” Toyota’s “Mobility Teammate Concept” vision evokes the idea that car and driver will be partners in autonomous driving and that the driver should control when the car is allowed to take control.

Right now there are some technological hurdles that Toyota has to address before the technology can be produced, like lidar sensors, which aren’t currently used in any Toyota production vehicles. High-definition mapping is also a necessity.

Source: Automotive News