Toyota Aims to Have a Autonomous Car on Sale in a Year
【Summary】Still think autonomous cars are years away? Toyota doesn’t think that’s the case, as the Japanese brand claims it will have drivable supercomputers on the road by 2020.
Depending on what automaker you believe, autonomous vehicles are either decades away or right around the corner. Toyota, which is an automaker that, in its defense, has been working steadfastly on self-driving technology, is a little gung-ho about the future. In a report by Automotive News, Toyota claims that it's planning to bring an autonomous vehicle to market by 2020.
What Toyota Still Needs To Do
Needless to say, Toyota has a massive climb ahead of itself. The company, according to the outlet, is still working on perfecting its hardware and software. Then, the brand still needs to work out a way to bring the tech to market in an affordable way. So there's a lot that needs to happen in a year. The man in charge of completing all of these tasks, James Kuffner, CEO of Toyota Research Institute Advanced Development Inc. (TRI-AD), still believes this is all possible.
According to Kuffner, Toyota, or TRI-AD's, first self-driving car will be "rolling supercomputers" when they come out in a year. "The prototypes and the preproduction vehicles that the team is building here at TRI-AD are going to be … the most intelligent supercomputer on wheels," said Kuffner. "We've called it the moonshot of my generation to build this technology and bring it to market."
TRI-AD was put into place last March to lead Toyota's overall autonomous program. The arm is a product of Aisin Seiki and Denso, two of Toyota's suppliers, that helped contribute to the $2.8 billion total to develop software for autonomous cars. In an attempt to come out with vehicles that can rival things coming from Silicon Valley, TRI-AD's deadest on its main "moonshot" goal.
In an effort to reach its goal, Toyota is currently testing its technology in an advanced Lexus LS sedan (pictured above). The automaker also has a 60-acre facility in Michigan where it basically replicated a small city.
Other Possible Issues
With the money, brilliant minds, testing facility, and know-how, Toyota could meet its goal. The major issue, though, has to deal with costs. According to Ken Koibuchi, TRI-AD's chief technical officer, the company has to find a way to reduce the price of the technology by "more than half" of what it sits at today. That's major issue, as the price of vehicles continue to rise without fully-autonomous tech, so one can only image just how high prices will be for Toyota and Lexus' vehicle.
Another major issue is how the U.S. government will react to the vehicle. The U.S. government has been slow to create clear guidelines for companies and automakers to follow and is still ambiguous about how it will regulate self-driving vehicles.
While Toyota and TRI-AD's objective may seem farfetched, it's nice to see a traditional automaker attempt to beat the start ups from Silicon Valley.
Vineeth Joel Patel
Joel Patel has been covering all aspects of the automotive industry for four years as an editor and freelance writer for various websites. When it comes to cars, he enjoys covering the merger between technology and cars. In his spare time, Joel likes to watch baseball, work on his car, and try new foods
Volkswagen Announces EV Plants in China to Compete With Tesla
EVs Expected to Account For Half of New-Car Sales by 2040
Germany Opens First Electric Highway to Charge Hybrid Semi-Trucks
Illinois Becomes Latest State to Charge EV Owners With Annual Fee
May Mobility to Begin Testing Autonomous Shuttles in Rhode Island
General Motors Holding Talks to Sell Lordstown Factory to Startup Workhorse
Honda and Toyota Scrambling to Find Funds to Develop EVs, New Tech
Tesla Claims Affordable Autonomous Cars Aren’t Possible Without China
- U.S. Lawmakers Introduce Bill to Extend Federal EV Tax Credit
- Lumotive Announces a New ‘Beam-Steering’ Lidar for Autonomous Vehicles
- General Motors Holding Talks to Sell Lordstown Factory to Startup Workhorse
- Ford Plans to Deploy 100 Self-driving Vehicles in 2019
- Fisker to Announce $40,000 Electric Vehicle
- Auto Execs Say the White House Will Extend May 18 Deadline on Auto Tariffs
- NVIDIA to Partner with Toyota Research Institute AD to Develop Self-Driving Vehicles
- Daimler Trucks Buys Stake in Torc Robotics to Develop Self-Driving Truck Technology
- Aptiv Heading to China With Autonomous Technology
- The Next Hyundai Kona Electric is Getting a 11 kW 3-Phase Onboard Charger