Toyota has launched Advanced Drive, a new driver assistance technology, with the latest Toyota Mirai and Lexus LS vehicles. Advanced Drive is capable of Level 2 autonomy and can free the driver from operating the accelerator, brakes and even the steering wheel — under certain traffic conditions and with the driver's supervision, that is. It was designed for highway driving only, and like other available assistance technologies today, it doesn't have full self-driving capabilities yet.
Advanced Drive uses data from the vehicle's telescopic camera and LiDAR, as well as information from high-precision maps to detect other vehicles in the same lane. So long as a driver sets the destination in the navigation system, the technology will be able to assess situations and make decisions when it comes to changing lanes, maintaining distance from other vehicles, navigating lane splits and overtaking other vehicles. It can make sure to maintain a larger distance from trucks and other big vehicles, for instance, and decelerate early when merging lanes. When changing lanes, it confirms the status of nearby vehicles and the road conditions first before asking for the driver's approval to move to its destination.
The system also uses a camera to check on the driver. A buzzer would issue a warning, the seatbelt would vibrate and the heads-up display would flash if the system detects signs of sleepiness or inattentiveness. If there's a lack of response from the driver, the system can gradually slow the car down, open the doors and call for assistance. In case there's a possibility of collision, the technology can warn the driver using the heads-up display and the buzzer. However, it can also apply the brakes and assist evasive action if there's a high likelihood that the collision would occur.
Advanced Drive makes it debut with the new Lexus LS that came out in Japan on April 8th, 2021 and the new Toyota Mirai fuel cell vehicle that'll be available on April 12th. Toyota has also confirmed that the 2022 Lexus LS will be the first vehicle in the US lineup with the Advanced Drive technology. As Autoblog notes, these are the first Toyota models that are capable of receiving over-the-air updates, which the automaker will use to deliver new features for the driver assistance tech.