Toyota announced recently that the company plans to make cars which are able to self drive on highway by 2020. Unlike other technology companies such as Google, Toyota is taking safer approach by making driver assist instead of self driving technology as reported by the Wall Street Journal. The system will be named “advanced driver support” rather that “Highway Teammate” as initially mentioned.
On separate occasion, the world’s largest automaker told the Wall Street Journal that they do not believe that their car company has fallen behind Silicon Valley in developing robot cars. Toyota also mentioned that the company has spent two decades studying autonomous driving technology.
According to Toyota, for the fully autonomous driving technology to be implemented in the mass-market type of cars to be possible, the cost of all the self driving sensors need to go down first. Aligned to that, Toyota is coming up with a wide array of semiautonomous driving technologies for their mass-market cars in the next few years.
In attempt to make the plan a reality, Toyota has hired Gill Pratt for its AI (Artificial Intelligence) and robotics department. Previously, Pratt has led DARPA Robotics Challenge before working for Toyota. The company also reported to have collaborated with MIT and Stanford to do R&D for both smart vehicles for the roads and robot helpers for people’s homes. The collaboration reported to be valued at $50 million.