Just before the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas next month, Lexus will reveal its autonomous car plans to media during a press conference on Jan. 7. In addition to its driverless car scenario, Lexus executives will delineate the company’s newest high-tech engineering systems that help drivers operate vehicles. Collision-avoidance, navigation, and all sorts of warning devices are among the new wave of technology. Many expect Lexus to use its popular LS model as the experimental car for the demonstration in Las Vegas.
Lexus is not the first company to try its hand at driverless car technology, nor will it be the last. The short news clip above is a good introduction to the concept of driverless transportation. Most of what is being developed right now will be on the roads within a year or two. In some cases, as in Nevada and California, driverless vehicles are already plying the streets, though in very limited, and closely monitored, experiments. Those two states have led the way with legislation allowing for the registration of the new cars. As one of the engineers in the video mentions, the biggest obstacles are public acceptance and cost. While the public’s feelings about driverless cars are likely to change as the models become more common, the cost of driverless vehicles typically hovers around the $100,000 mark, and higher. When and if costs come down, watch for more fleet usage of the technology.
Lexus and its parent Toyota have been working on proprietary systems called ITS, which stands for Intelligent Transport Systems. ITS uses radio-wave communication between cars in order to deter collisions. The technology allows the vehicles to communicate with one another to prevent various types of accidents.
For more about Lexus, see the Japanese automaker’s official corporate website: