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Toyota To Show Off Autonomous Prototype Car At CES Show 126

Posted by samzenpus
from the technology-take-the-wheel dept.
coondoggie writes "Toyota is going to show off its autonomous car/accident avoidance technology at the 2013 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas nest week. The 2013 Lexus LS uses what the car company calls its Intelligent Transport System and is fitted with on-board radar, video cameras and sensors to monitor the road, surroundings, and the driver all with the goal of preventing accidents and avoiding problems."
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Toyota To Show Off Autonomous Prototype Car At CES Show

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  • You could've simply said it does not run Windows instead...

  • by robthebloke (1308483) on Sunday January 06, 2013 @10:34AM (#42495207)
    If you're the kind of person who's going to spend above the average list price on a car, you're either going to spend the money to 'help' the environment in some way (eg hybrid), hurt the environment in some way (Big/Fast car), or to simply make the journey more comfortable (heated seats, sound system, etc). You're certainly not the kind of person to spend the money on a radar system, sensors, cameras, computing power, and the extra petrol consumption needed to lug that equipment around just incase you have a lapse in concentration. For everyone else, cheap, reliable, and economical are usually the primary concerns. I imagine there may be a handful of people who are interested in this technology, but they're also likely to be the kind of cautious driver that only has an accident when someone else crashes into them. How will this system control the 'other drivers' ?
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      A couple times a year, I drive 12 hours each way to visit family. I'm very concerned about falling asleep or a lapse in concentration causing an accident sometime during those 12 hours.

      In 10 years, my daughter will be going to college. I know how much sleep college students get. I don't want her to get in an accident coming home for a break because she's tired.

      A better question is, who WOULDN'T want this technology? Do you have any idea how many people get killed every year because we don't have this tec

      • by vlm (69642) on Sunday January 06, 2013 @10:56AM (#42495365)

        The problem is an immense economic gulf from where its technologically possible but horribly expensive, until its cheap enough that a college student econobox car has it. At this time, looking at the cost of tech vs how often you'll need it, you're probably WAY better off taking mass transit like a aircraft (chartered if necessary) and/or hiring chauffeur service and a limo. Its kind of like those guys who try to rationalize a giant $75K pickup truck because they buy approximately one sheet of plywood per year so the "need" the truck. In a similar way any alternative is better economically, than turning a commuter car into a 12-hour cruising machine.

        Hmm for the cost of the in dash GPS on my wife's car, well into the 4 digits, I could afford a chartered helicopter flight from my nearby little airport to the big airport, then a chartered jet (only about $700/hr) to my mom's airport, followed by another helicopter flight at the destination. Yet its supposedly cheap and prudent to spend more on the in-dash GPS. F it I'll just use my wife's phone GPS to navigate us, which doesn't even lock out when the car is in motion unlike a POS in-dash GPS.

        • by cruff (171569) on Sunday January 06, 2013 @11:18AM (#42495511)

          Hmm for the cost of the in dash GPS on my wife's car, well into the 4 digits, I could afford a chartered helicopter flight ...

          You failed to amortized the cost of the GPS among all of the trips taken by the car, which brings the cost per trip down, unlike your example of a single expensive trip via chartered aircraft.

          F it I'll just use my wife's phone GPS to navigate us, which doesn't even lock out when the car is in motion unlike a POS in-dash GPS.

          Now that's a real reason to dislike the expensive POS in-dash GPS with its crippled functionality imposed by lawyers.

          • by vlm (69642)

            You failed to amortized the cost of the GPS among all of the trips taken by the car...

            I only use GPS about once a year, if that.

            • by icebike (68054)

              I only use GPS about once a year, if that.

              Some people actually drive more than 20 miles from their home.

        • by weegiekev (925942)
          What you are missing is that you're thinking about private car ownership. These are much more likely to get popular on a pay per use model, where you rent them for a journey. Effectively they'd be somewhere between a bus, a taxi and a car share scheme. Think about the benefits here against all those models:
          • Mass public transport is efficient, but struggles with capacity planning - you can't run a bus route on demand very easily. As such they very often run somewhat empty.
          • Taxis are expensive as you're pay
        • by Type44Q (1233630)

          until its cheap enough that a college student econobox car has it

          ...until it's been around long enough that an ancient college student econobox has it.

          FTFY

        • by icebike (68054)

          You overstate the prices of factory in-dash GPS. Its nowhere near that expensive anymore.
          Further, there are aftermarket kits for under 500 bucks [bestbuy.com] and suction cup mount kits for under 200.

          Factory in-dash is also coming down, and manufacturers are starting to unbundle it so you can buy that without it coming withe heated seats, and that is pushing the price under 900 bucks, (still excessive IMHO).

        • by mlts (1038732) *

          As with most technologies, early adopters tend to front a good chunk of the costs to develop a technology. This is normal, because it takes time to make something that can be mass produced and stuck in all car models.

          I have paid extra for safety technologies. My previous vehicle (which I bought almost 20 years ago, and is kept in roadworthy shape) I paid extra for four wheel ABS. My current ride, I paid for the higher trim level so I could get the backup sonar and a camera. Yes, it might be pointless,

      • by mindwhip (894744)

        Any employer who's employees do a lot of driving (everything from couriers and truck drivers all the way to photocopier engineers and salesmen) and provide the vehicles will probably see this as a way to reduce accidents and the resulting liability payouts.

        It may even go one step further where NOT having this technology installed will result in employees suing when an accident that this could have avoided happens...

        • Employers would be able to pay their employees less; they're no longer drivers, but just product handlers, moving it from warehouse to vehicle to delivery destination.

          Also, who needs liability insurance anymore? The autonomous vehicle manufacturer would carry insurance for errors in their system, and only other drivers who still drive their cars would need insurance.

          I waste upwards of 450-500 hours a year driving (at least). I would normally pay $30K-50K for a car. My billable rate is $125/hr, but I don't d

          • by Belial6 (794905)
            The insurance is a point that a lot of people think will be a stumbling block. It is likely that you will still need individual insurance. The thing is, with the human equation out of it, the insurance on your car will be like the insurance you have for your tree dropping a limb on a guest in your home. The odds of it happening are so slim that it just gets rolled into your homeowners insurance and that is the end of it.
          • Also, who needs liability insurance anymore? The autonomous vehicle manufacturer would carry insurance for errors in their system, and only other drivers who still drive their cars would need insurance.

            Plus if the company has "dead peasant insurance" too few deaths might not be a good thing for them...

          • I would pay a premium of $187,500 for a self driving car. That premium I would pay is what a Google self-driving car costs (Prius + ~$150K in sensor gear).

            Holy crap. Do you think anybody here is talking about buying a prototype?
            When these things are mass-manufactured, we would be looking at perhaps a 10-15% extra charge for the self-driving technology. Otherwise, no car manufacturer would even try to put one on the market.

      • by cigawoot (1242378)

        Additionally, I dislike driving. If I could beam myself to work and back, I would. However, lacking Star Trek-era transport technology, I'll settle with not having to deal with the road while driving to work.

        Being able to just tell the computer where I want to go, sit back, and play my 3DS while it takes me there would be amazing.

    • by vlm (69642) on Sunday January 06, 2013 @10:49AM (#42495299)

      I imagine there may be a handful of people who are interested in this technology

      Old people... and there's lots of them. With a side order of rich parent buying new car for teenager that might be less likely to kill them.

      However, invent an idiot proof car and evolution will invent a better idiot.

      One interesting side effect is much like ABS and 4-wheel drive, this will probably just backfire and increase death rates. "Sure, I'd never go out on the steep mountain road in 50 MPH winds during a icestorm at night with my old car, but I'm sure the new car's computer will keep me safe no matter what... " followed by death and lawsuit. Followed by a quick firmware reprogramming job such that the car's sensors will be used primarily to shut the car down unless its well above freezing, no wind, no precipitation, horizontal terrain, and daylight. In other words, when you should probably be riding a bicycle. This is an interesting way to save gas, too.

      • by Phrogz (43803)

        [...] much like ABS and 4-wheel drive, this will probably just backfire and increase death rates.

        [citation needed]

        Your post would amount to more than fear-mongering if you provided any links to data showing that, for example, anti-lock brakes have resulted in an increase in death rates.

        • ABS brakes in particular can't be linked to any sort of beneficial or detrimental data beyond a few flawed tests in a lab.

          What is provable is that they've led to an increase in low-speed collisions... data which you can find just about anywhere.

          • by jcdr (178250)

            Even if your claims will be proved right, a low speed collision is certainly not a safety problem: the energy involved is not enough to cause injury. The lost of trajectory while braking at high speed is a serious safety problem that can cause fatal accident.

            The ABS is only an automated (and in fact very efficient) way to do what's professional race driver used since a long time to keep control of the trajectory. But many people forget too often that it's the tires that make all the adherence with the road

          • by icebike (68054) on Sunday January 06, 2013 @05:12PM (#42498267)

            But ABS brakes have drastically reduced the number of high speed collisions, mostly rear-end collisions, and missed turns and sliding into ditches at 50mph with the wheels all locked up.

            Bullet proof vests have led to an increase in broken rips a bruised torsos.

            • by MobyDisk (75490)

              But ABS brakes have drastically reduced the number of high speed collisions

              I was curious so I looked this up. You are correct. But readers should also be aware that ABS really only helps on non-fatal crashes. [dot.gov]

              The abstract from the paper:

              ABS has close to a zero net effect on fatal crash involvements. Fatal run-off-road crashes of passenger cars increased by a statistically significant 9 percent (90% confidence bounds: 3% to 15% increase), offset by a significant 13-percent reduction in fatal collisions with pedestrians (confidence bounds: 5% to 20%) and a significant 12-percent reduction in collisions with other vehicles on wet roads (confidence bounds: 3% to 20%). ABS is quite effective in nonfatal crashes, reducing the overall crashinvolvement rate by 6 percent in passenger cars (confidence bounds: 4% to 8%) and by 8 percent in LTVs (confidence bounds: 3% to 11%). The combination of electronic stability control (ESC) and ABS will prevent a large proportion of fatal and nonfatal crashes.

          • by AmiMoJo (196126) *

            data which you can find just about anywhere

            The onus is on the person making the extraordinary claim to provide that data.

      • by WaywardGeek (1480513) on Sunday January 06, 2013 @11:41AM (#42495667) Journal

        Self driving cars will be huge. They'll start changing the world as soon as California allows these cars on the road without licensed rivers. At that point, a fairly expensive self-driving car will have plenty of uses.

        • Zipcar/taxis: now it picks you up where you want and drops you off where you want. They show up much more reliably and are cheaper.
        • Old people and people with vision impairments would buy them. The increase in personal freedom is worth a lot.
        • Working parents could schedule self driving cars to pick up their kids and get them to soccer practice.
        • Workers who's time is very valuable would by these cars so they could do their work while commuting.
        • When self driving cars start networking, they could save gas and improve traffic on freeways by linking up like a train.
        • Instead of having 2 cars in my garage, where they sit unused for 95% of the time, we'll be able to share a small fleet of cars among a large number of owners, saving tons of money.
        • For real cheapskates, and environmentally concerned citizens, these cars could automatically form car-pools, getting people around with a lot less gas per person, with a fraction of the hassles of carpooling today.

        I personally suffer from Stargardt's disease, and am losing central vision. I'm expecting to be in a financial position to buy one of these. My preference would be a self-driving Tesla Model S, though beggars can't be choosers. I'll buy whatever is offered. I'll even move to California to be able to own and use one.

        Here's a tough question: Should I start planning to move to California in a couple years, in anticipation of being able to own a car that can drive me around? What's the likelihood that California will be first by enough time to make the move worthwhile?

        • by arth1 (260657)

          I personally suffer from Stargardt's disease, and am losing central vision. I'm expecting to be in a financial position to buy one of these. My preference would be a self-driving Tesla Model S, though beggars can't be choosers. I'll buy whatever is offered. I'll even move to California to be able to own and use one.

          Here's a tough question: Should I start planning to move to California in a couple years, in anticipation of being able to own a car that can drive me around? What's the likelihood that California will be first by enough time to make the move worthwhile?

          Here's a tough answer: No, because for the foreseeable future, the requirements for these cars is going to be that a licensed driver is at hand to take over.
          You are not him.

          If you're independently wealthy to the point that moving across the country at will and buying Tesla S class cars, you're probably better off hiring a driver when you need one.

          • by ultranova (717540)

            No, because for the foreseeable future, the requirements for these cars is going to be that a licensed driver is at hand to take over.

            Which is foolish, because the "driver" is unable to do so - he'll be daydreming, watching the scenery, working, or simply sleeping. And if he regularly uses a self-driving car, he'll be out of practice too.

            • by arth1 (260657)

              Which is foolish, because the "driver" is unable to do so - he'll be daydreming, watching the scenery, working, or simply sleeping. And if he regularly uses a self-driving car, he'll be out of practice too.

              I think you have way too much confidence in the automated systems. When it meets a temporary closed lane with a road worker holding a handheld stop/slow sign (a weekly occurrence here), a human better be able to take over. Or what about a fallen branch, a giant pothole, a marching band, tumbleweed, lawn sprinklers, roadkill, power outage, double parked cars, bikini clad teens offering car wash or any other scenarios where judgment is required? Even if it can figure 9ut one or two of the above, there are

              • One thing that concerns me about self-driving cars that supposedly work so well (like google's) is that reports have all come from the people who developed them. Hardly an unbiased source.
                When the NHTSA or Consumer Reports certifies one of these machine to be safe and reliable, only then will I believe it.
              • by ultranova (717540)

                I think you have way too much confidence in the automated systems. When it meets a temporary closed lane with a road worker holding a handheld stop/slow sign (a weekly occurrence here), a human better be able to take over.

                And the human isn't able to take over because there simply isn't enough time to get up to speed on what's happening, so the automated system must be able to deal with such situations by itself. Which isn't that difficult, BTW - one of the basic low-level functions would be to determine wh

                • I think you have way too much confidence in the automated systems. When it meets a temporary closed lane with a road worker holding a handheld stop/slow sign (a weekly occurrence here), a human better be able to take over.

                  And the human isn't able to take over because there simply isn't enough time to get up to speed on what's happening, so the automated system must be able to deal with such situations by itself. Which isn't that difficult, BTW - one of the basic low-level functions would be to determine what areas are drivable.

                  When a lane is closed with a road worker has a handheld sign, then, yes, the automated system will deal with it. What it will do is slow down, stop, and tell the driver that they have to take over. There are going to be situations where there is plenty of time for the system to 'deal' with the situation, but not enough information for it to decide what to do. That's why there needs to be a licensed driver. At a certain point, the system will say 'Whoa, I can't deal with this, you do it!'

        • by Kjella (173770)

          Here's a tough question: Should I start planning to move to California in a couple years

          Actually, the question is not tough but the answer may be: No. [slate.com]

        • I'm curious how the "pooled car" thing works. Because, you know, there will always be someone out there who spills a Big Gulp onto the seat and doesn't clean it up, or leaves baby puke all over the floorboards, or who is just one of those freaks who enjoys leaving his own feces for others to discover. What then?

          Ah, yeah, go ahead and move to California. You'll be among kindred spirits there. You can enjoy paying their taxes, too, like a good little drone.

          • I'm curious how the "pooled car" thing works.

            We already know the answer, because it has already been done. A "pooled car" is commonly known as a "bus". Hundreds of millions of people use them everyday. The only thing that will change is they will become smaller, cheaper (since there is no paid driver), much more frequent, and instead of fixed stops they will pick you up at your front door and take you directly to your destination.

            You are correct that sometimes there is baby puke on the seats, but somehow people deal with it and the world keeps on t

            • by Belial6 (794905)
              Unless forced to, most people deal with it by using a car.
              • by GodGell (897123)

                Unless forced to, most people in the USA deal with it by using a car.

                Fixed that for you.

            • Oh really, where's my personal secure storage space on a bus that's available at the last place where I went back to walking?

          • Ah, yeah, go ahead and move to California. You'll be among kindred spirits there. You can enjoy paying their taxes, too, like a good little drone.

            Low tax Nevada was actually the first to legalize autonomous vehicles, and the first to actually register one for use on public roads. Florida (no state income tax) has also passed a law to legalize autonomous vehicles, but I don't think any are actually registered there yet. Just like California, these states require a licensed driver behind the wheel, but it is a start.

            • by hawk (1151)

              Given the amount of destination drinking here, I expect Nevada to stay at the front of the pack here.

              Our legislature will allow an autonomous car once the current generation show that the driver doesn't need to intervene . . . but not before.

              hawk

          • And the car drives itself to a cleaning service. Is that really your best objection?

        • California, Florida, and Nevada have already legalized self-driving cars.

      • I imagine there may be a handful of people who are interested in this technology

        Old people... and there's lots of them.

        Also absent-minded people. My mind tends to wander when I am driving. I have never been in a serious accident, but I have come close a few times. I would love to have a robotic car to "pay attention" while my mind was focused on designing an algorithm or whatever.

        But there seems to be an assumption that this would cost a net amount of money. I think that as the price falls, this will be very quickly not true. You may pay a few thousand more for the car, but you will pay much less for insurance. You wi

      • by Nerdfest (867930)

        It's a generalization, but I find Toyotas (mainly Corollas ... surprisingly the Echos tend to be driven faster) are driven more slowly and more cautiously by a fair margin than any other car. I've generally attributed this to people buying Toyotas because they have a reputation for being safe. I think Toyota is the right company to attempt this as if the price is in the right ballpark, these people will buy it. This is good, as these people *need* it. At a certain point, overly 'cautious' driving causes a

        • by drinkypoo (153816)

          It's a generalization, but I find Toyotas (mainly Corollas ... surprisingly the Echos tend to be driven faster) are driven more slowly and more cautiously by a fair margin than any other car. I've generally attributed this to people buying Toyotas because they have a reputation for being safe.

          It's a generalization, but I find Toyotas (mainly Corollas) to handle like dogshit. Obviously there are some notable exceptions but they are not as notable as you might imagine. The Supra is excessively heavy (all of them, but mostly the latest one) and it takes some doing to get it to handle as nicely as a Z. Which brings us to the competition, Nissans and Hondas both handle better than Toyotas. If I had a Toyota, I'd drive it more slowly and more cautiously than other cars, too. I've driven all three quit

          • by Nerdfest (867930)

            True, they have a much softer ride than Hondas, which most Toyota drivers would call 'rough', or 'harsh'. I'm not sure it's enough worse that it would cause the excessively slow driving I generally see. I do see Corollas being driven fast on rare occasions, but I assume they're stolen. :)

            • by drinkypoo (153816)

              A softer ride than Hondas? That depends on the Honda. Accords are plenty plush, and feel like a much heavier car than they actually are, while still being able to pull some lateral Gs and accelerate at the same time. Civics are quite springy, but that's what you get from a car of that mass. But engage in some spirited driving and you'll see what I'm talking about very quickly.

              Sometimes it's not really Toyota's fault, but sometimes it is. The original Insight is said to feel relatively spry, and the Prius (a

          • Newer Corollas yes, but the early '80s-late '90s Corollas handle quite nicely. Toyota just gave up any aspirations of fun or performance between the early 2000s and the release of the FR-S.

        • by icebike (68054)

          I've generally attributed this to people buying Toyotas because they have a reputation for being safe.

          No, its because people have long memories and the run-away vehicle and brake failures are still fresh in their minds. Toyota may think they have moved past that impression but they are sadly mistaken.

          Nothing Toyota is offering in TFA is unique or new, and its long been in the market place on other vehicles. Don't be fooled by the use the word "autonomous" in their press release.

        • It's a generalization, but I find Toyotas (mainly Corollas ... surprisingly the Echos tend to be driven faster) are driven more slowly and more cautiously by a fair margin than any other car

          If I lived near you I'd skew the hell out of your averages :-P

          I know you don't live near Skal Tura [slashdot.org] either...

    • by MightyYar (622222)

      My minivan comes with all sorts of expensive safety features that are not required by law - I have to assume that market forces drove Toyota to include them. Getting ranked as a safe car by the insurance trade groups will help sales with some demographics.

      • by bogaboga (793279)

        Getting ranked as a safe car by the insurance trade groups will help sales with some demographics.

        That is until all the complexity becomes too compex to manage. We're already seeing results of all the sensors in today's cars. Dust, like heat, humidity and handling will make them malfunction.

        To make matters worse, some sensors are "programmed to fail" or to indicate potential failure even when they are still good. All this to make the driver visit a dealership, where he's advised to dole out cash 'or else.

        • by MightyYar (622222)

          Technical challenges aside, there clearly is a market for non-required safety features in certain types of cars. Volvo made this their mainstay for years. And to this day, I kind of shudder a little bit when I get behind a Volvo, despite the old stereotype no longer really holding true.

        • To make matters worse, some sensors are "programmed to fail" or to indicate potential failure even when they are still good. All this to make the driver visit a dealership, where he's advised to dole out cash 'or else..."

          This isn't true...yet.

    • by MagdJTK (1275470)

      You don't understand the point of self-driving cars? Really? These will revolutionize travel if they become affordable. As for saying they're too expensive, everything is too expensive for most people when it's new; technology prices have a way of coming down over time, you see.

      • A real man drives a stick shift, self-driving cars are for whimps! (Yes, I'm european)
        • by Belial6 (794905)
          A real man doesn't use those wimpy AUTO-mobiles!
        • by jcdr (178250)

          It' undeniable that many European (mostly man but not only) drivers are still thinking that way. Part of the problem is also the fact that historically automatic gears was more expensive, a bit less efficient, an not so well designed outside of a few (and costly) European manufactures. Now the situation is slowly changing because robotic gears with computer is efficient, easy to tune, and look like sport racer. Still too costly for the low to middle range price but like many others new features before, thi

      • by icebike (68054)

        This story is not about self driving cars. Re-read TFA,

        Nor was the post your reply to about self driving cars.

    • by ikaruga (2725453)
      This technology may be expensive now(just like EVs) but in the end, as international standards, safety guidelines, sensor/actuations technology as well as suport technology envolves, this technology will become as common as automated transmission. Personally I like driving, but I hate "commuting". Driving for work, driving the same route every fucking day is boring and a big waste of time. I'd gladly have a robot to do that for me while I do something productive or fun or just sleep in the back seat.
      • by Ardyvee (2447206)

        Please note that you still have to be awake and in the driver seat for the duration of the trip and you also need to not be intoxicated. Law says so. But yeah, the future will be less boring. I just hope they let me kill all those safety measures and drive the car myself is so I want.

    • You don't see automated driving as a comfort feature? I can't wait for the day when I get to ignore the responsibility of driving and focus instead on reading or doing other tasks that require too much attention to complete while driving.

      • by jcdr (178250)

        Mod parent up.

        While I was young I was not so stressed to get my driver's licence, because I thought that I was losing times concentrating on anything passing into my head without raising risk and that self driving car will soon make driving licence useless anyway. Well, 22 years later, I finally take the time to get my driver's licence two years ago because is more comfortable with a family. But I lost my bid on the self driving car availability and lost opportunity to concentrate on new ideas on my head. B

    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      You're certainly not the kind of person to spend the money on a radar system, sensors, cameras, computing power, and the extra petrol consumption needed to lug that equipment around just incase you have a lapse in concentration.

      You are certainly speaking with your anus. Car companies are already selling more limited versions of these features to drivers with more money than you with great success. If you would open your eyes a bit when you drive around you would notice that the really expensive cars that have enough power and rubber to pop your neck are being driven by superannuated fossils too old to actually enjoy opening the taps, or pushing the Gs up near the skidpad numbers. And the more expensive the car, the older the drive

    • I wouldn't buy one, but I would be very interested in a service like ZipCar, but with self-driving cars, so I'd be able to just schedule one to come and collect me and take me to my destination, or be available for me to use for a half day or day. This sort of usage would be too expensive in a taxi, but this sort of vehicle would be very affordable for occasional use (I live in a city where bicycles are the primary means of transportation, so I rarely need a car).
    • by Pro-feet (2668975)
      > I imagine there may be a handful of people who are interested in this technology

      I imagine there's going to be a huge number of people who look forward to the possibility to go out, get drunk, and drive home safely with their own car. And that's probably the worst reason among the several I can think of.

      I'd happily give up my heated seats for this.
    • by icebike (68054)

      You're certainly not the kind of person to spend the money on a radar system, sensors, cameras, computing power, and the extra petrol consumption needed to lug that equipment around just in case you have a lapse in concentration.

      Ah, No, that's not true for several reasons.

      First and foremost, is that what Toyota is claiming as autonomous is pretty much the same as you find in mid to high end cars these days. You don't have to buy a luxury car or an Euro import to get these accident avoidance features any more. Ford and Chevy are putting these in relatively inexpensive cars. Toyota has nothing new here, they just found some buzzwords the marketing guys dreamed up. Autonomous? Please.

      Second, these things cost virtually nothing in

    • by jcdr (178250)

      While undeniably more electronics consume more power, it's not on the same scale compared to the power used by the transmission. Even 100 Watt of electronic equipment is very few to the the power need to accelerate a small car.

    • by jrumney (197329)

      but they're also likely to be the kind of cautious driver that only has an accident when someone else crashes into them.

      Isn't that everybody?

    • Your a nutter, this type of stuff is introduced on high end cars END it sells very well. It is just the modern version of the parking sensor or rear view camera.

      You won't find this in riser cars but you WILL find it in high end mercs and north european cars.

  • ...how are they going to blame the driver for spontaneous acceleration now?

  • It will be interesting to see what combination of sensors Toyota is using and how they've incorporated the ungodly looking sets of LIDARs and cameras into the body of the car.

    • by timeOday (582209)
      They had a picture of the car on the news last night and it still has a big lidar sticking out the top and is clearly a research vehicle in many other respects. Even though Toyota is exhibiting the car at CES, it is years ahead of what they are actually marketing.
      • by icebike (68054)

        Go read TFA, and you quickly realize they are not talking about autonomous vehicles at all, but simply a car that has all the sensors and safety technology you routinely find on mid-to-high priced cars today. They talk like its new an innovative, because they blur the lines between what you've heard was possible and what they are actually offering.

        The Ford Focus offers just as much as Toyota will be offering, they just don't use words like "autonomous" in their press releases.

    • Radar (around 60GHz) is quickly becoming more cheap. It's antennas can be much smaller (and cheaper) than a LIDAR setup.
      • by icebike (68054)

        Radar is already common on many vehicles [sabertek.com] with Parking assistance, Collision avoidance and or Adaptive Cruise Control.
        Most of this is in the 24GHz range (Ford, Chrysler, etc). 77Ghz bands are also in wide use, Japan has opted for 60GHz.

        I wasn't aware of anyone using 66GHz.

      • by jcdr (178250)

        What's will happens when the radars of many cars will interfere ? Even with visible light spectrum, others cars illuminations can produce situation where the perceived image is hard to interpret correctly in detail. Using a lower frequency is not likely to make the problem simpler.

        • I'm sure you're not the first to think of that. IRC Bosch is currently the market-leader for car-radar solutions, they do have a fairly good track record of making reliable car-parts.

          Digital Signal Processing goes a long way. With multiple antennas beam-forming is possible. Current systems send out chirp signals. Different cars will not be locked in phase, so that will automatically reduce interference also

          • by jcdr (178250)

            I am really not certain that the current Boch radar offering is anything close that what is needed to replace a LIDAR on a self driving car. The goal is not to only detect the distance of the nearest metallic object in front of the car, but to reconstruct a spatial representation around the car precise enough to recognize and categorize any objects out there. IMHO, while today current DSP capabilities are impressive, this problem is still challenging.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Cars do not kill people. *
    People driving cars BADLY kill people.

    *Yes, there are some very rare exceptions where design flaws have been found to cause death/injury that could not be avoided by a competent driver.

    Of course, if cars drive themselves, this will definitely change and cars WILL begin to kill people eventually.

    Better than self-driving cars would be to increase the driver ability standards and require competence behind the wheel.
    For those who do not wish to exercise self-discipline and drive well-

    • by tinkerton (199273)

      Yet making safer cars has decreased the amount of deaths per car by what, 10 times? There are many times more cars than in the sixties, and less than half of the deaths.

    • by eth1 (94901)

      larger fines for safety infractions:
      failure to use a turn signal while changing lanes? $100 for first offense annually, $200 for second, 30 day suspension for 3rd offense in a 1 year period.
      Failure to keep to the left hand lane clear except when passing (when possible)? Same fine as above.
      Run a stop sign or red light? $250 first offense, $500 2nd, 30 day suspension for 3rd.
      Offenses past the third in a calendar year: 90 day suspension, 6 month, one year and so on.
      Using a cell phone/tablet while driving? 30 day suspension for first offense plus $100 fine.

      .

      The fines need to be percentages of income or assets, otherwise they're either too painful for lower incomes or too insignificant for higher. Of course anyone driving a nice car would then be mercilessly harassed by the small town cops that pay their salary by writing tickets, so it might also require that all but a small, fixed amount of the fines go to some central state-wide fund (send it to the schools, maybe).

  • From the article: ...Show (CES) in Las Vegas nest week. The arguments over coding standards are legion and the same is true for testing. The bottom line dictates what the acceptable level of error is. I'm waiting for the ads for beta testers.
  • need to work on legal liability civil and criminal.

    and no some Eula will not cover criminal stuff as well big parts of the civil part.

    I don't think that some on the street can auto sign a eula just before getting hit by a failing autocar.

  • whatcouldpossiblygowrong

    Toyota already has the autonomous acceleration bit figured out. Now all we need is a car that steers itself wherever it wants.

    • I initially thought "Anonymous" as in the hacker group. Much more interesting... I'd like to see what kind of goofy car designed around a Guy Fawkes mask would look like! Or maybe a backdoor in all Toyota cars they discovered and the interesting things that could allow... You imagine the funny or serious ideas...

  • Bummer.. So this is not really autonomous, just a car with very advanced collision avoidance technology.

    Though it probably is a good step towards fully autonomous (self-driving) cars. Considering that traffic is the leading cause of accident fatalities in the world, this is a great thing.

  • I hope with all the hype for autonomous cars, they do at least consider what it would take to have a mode for no one in the car...
    Seems like all the talk so far is for normal driving and requiring a driver, but how about some talk about what would be allowable for no one in the car? Like max speed of 5-10 mph, flashers on all the time, etc. I'd like to be able to send a car home that I didn't need anymore, or call the car to be in a parking lot. Or, even the service call like mentioned elsewhere in this th
  • Every person I've ever met would say something like this:

    "All the other drivers should get a car like this. I don't need one because I'm a really good driver!"

    • I think that bad drivers secretly know they suck, TV ads for cars often mention nothing but the car's safety features, obviously this is a major demographic.

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