Toyota rolls out driverless car at U.S. electronics show

January 09, 2013

By JUNICHIRO NAGASAKI/ Staff Writer

LAS VEGAS--Toyota Motor Corp. showed off its robotic car that travels without a driver to reporters in Las Vegas on Jan. 7, the first Japanese automaker to unveil an experimental self-driving vehicle.

Based on a high-end Lexus model, the “Advanced Active Safety Research Vehicle” is controlled by cameras, sensors and other technologies Toyota has developed to operate the car's accelerator, brakes and steering wheel.

The driverless car will be on display at the 2013 International Consumer Electronics Show that gets under way at the Las Vegas Convention Center on Jan. 8.

Toyota, which has been developing the self-driving car since 2008, said it will enable the automaker to enhance safety features of its vehicles and contribute to a drop in traffic accidents.

The safety research vehicle has laser equipment installed on its roof that can turn 360 degrees and detect pedestrians, vehicles and other nearby objects.

Cameras installed on the front of the car recognize traffic signals and determine the speed of other vehicles.

The car is capable of accelerating and slowing to a stop in response to changing conditions in its surroundings.

Toyota has conducted test drives of the car on public roads in Michigan. The company has yet to decide when it will put the driverless car to practical use.

Apart from several other automakers in the race for a driverless vehicle, Google Inc. has also been developing a robotic car.

By JUNICHIRO NAGASAKI/ Staff Writer
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Journalists take photos of Toyota Motor Corp.'s robotic car on Jan. 7, the day before the vehicle will be exhibited at the International CES in Las Vegas from Jan. 8-11. (Junichiro Nagasaki)

Journalists take photos of Toyota Motor Corp.'s robotic car on Jan. 7, the day before the vehicle will be exhibited at the International CES in Las Vegas from Jan. 8-11. (Junichiro Nagasaki)

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  • Journalists take photos of Toyota Motor Corp.'s robotic car on Jan. 7, the day before the vehicle will be exhibited at the International CES in Las Vegas from Jan. 8-11. (Junichiro Nagasaki)

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