January 4, 2013
Car Manufacturers Showing Off Driverless Vehicles At 2013 CES
Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online
Car companies are kicking things up a notch at the upcoming 2013 International Consumer Electronics show next week, confirming that they'll be releasing new autonomous vehicles.
Toyota and Lexus will be demonstrating an LS 600h that includes radar and cameras to help drive itself around.
Audi will be showing off a car that is able to find a parking space, drive off, and park itself on its own, according to a report by the Wall Street Journal.
Toyota released a short teaser trailer for semi-driverless car technology on Friday, prepping up the media coverage ahead of the big consumer electronics event.
The Toyota technology is intended to boost safety when there is a real human at the wheel by detecting obstacles or alerting the driver that he or she is falling asleep. According to the Wall Street Journal, Toyota's radar and camera equipment are able to detect other vehicles, road lane lines and traffic signals, giving the car the ability to navigate streets without a driver.
During the video, a 2013 Lexus LX is equipped with Toyota's "Intelligent Transport Systems" technology, which includes the radar for monitoring the road environment as well as communicating to other vehicles. If this communication technology is universally adapted, then it could pave the way for vehicles communicating with one another while on the road.
The Wall Street Journal quoted Dave Sullivan, an analyst with research firm AutoPacific Inc, saying that the fact that Toyota is pushing this technology is a big deal.
"To have somebody with the weight of Toyota throwing their weight behind this is impressive," Sullivan told WSJ.
Google has been tinkering with autonomous vehicle technology, while using a Toyota Prius to do so. The company has released numerous videos of its self-driving cars in action, including putting a blind man in the driver's seat. Toyota's prototype vehicle shows in the video the same roof-mounted laser that Google has been using on its cars.
The Journal points out that Ford Motor's Chairman, Bill Ford Jr., said autonomous vehicles are coming, and could be a good solution to congestion problems.
More details about the vehicles can be found here on redOrbit next week during the 2013 International Consumer Electronics show in Las Vegas.