Lexus is Working on a Driver Assist System to Rival Cadillac's Super Cruise
【Summary】Tired of falling behind the competition that already has advanced driver-assist systems on luxury vehicles, Lexus President Koji Sato laid out what’s coming in the automaker’s future.
Mercedes-Benz, Audi, BMW, Tesla, and Cadillac all have advanced driver-assist systems that help drivers deal with traffic. Tesla is obviously in the lead with its Autopilot, even touting that its vehicles will soon become autonomous, though the cars are semi-autonomous at best at the moment.
Cadillac's Super Cruise system is unique because it allows drivers to physically take their hands off the wheel while the vehicle handles a lot of the driving. However, not even this system is considered to be "self-driving."
Trying To Play Catch Up
Lexus is behind the times. The Japanese luxury brand only offers a rudimentary list of safety features that you can also find on Toyota. That's going to change in the future, as Lexus looks to catch up with its rivals.
Speaking with Lexus President Koji Sato, Automotive News Europe got the inside scoop on what we can expect from Lexus in the near future. Exciting things are in store for Lexus, as the brand has plans to introduce its first autonomous vehicle this year.
Lexus will even sell the system to consumers in a vehicle. But just like Tesla, autonomous capability won't be unlocked until an over-the-air software update becomes available at a later date. Yes, over-the-air updates are coming for Lexus' cars.
According to Sato, the autonomous system will be "hands off but not eyes off." Just from that little tidbit, it sounds like a direct competitor to Cadillac's Super Cruise. "It will start from Level 2 but it will have over-the-air updates so that for the future we can update the level," Sato said. And just like Cadillac's system, Lexus' will be able to change lanes, follow lane markings, and pass vehicles on the highway automatically. The feature will be called Highway Teammate and is being jointly developed by Denso.
Waiting On Regulations
Based on Sato's comments, the system sounds like it will have Level 2 capability. But over-the-air updates could push it higher. How high depends on specific markets and regulations in those areas. "Regulation and also social concerns may effect what level we can produce in the real world," said Sato.
Sato didn't provide any information on what vehicle the piece of technology would appear on or which region would get it first. The first time we saw Highway Teammate on a Lexus was back in 2017 with the LS+ concept. As Car and Driver reported back then, Lexus was working with the Japanese government to map the country's roads to give the technology a useable network of roads. That makes it sound like Japan would be the first country to get the tech, which makes sense.
As Automotive News Europe points out, Audi launched an "eyes-off" Level 3 autonomous feature with the A8 sedan in 2018. Traffic Jam Pilot, which is what the system is called, hasn't been approved by regulators yet. Mercedes-Benz has plans to introduce a Level 3 autonomous system for its S-Class before 2020 comes to an end. Lastly, BMW's upcoming iNEXT electric crossover will come with Level 3 capability in 2021.
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
Tesla is Changing the Battery Cell Chemistry in its Standard-Range Models
Stellantis, LG Partner For EV Battery Plant for North American Cars
Ford Maverick Hybrid Rated at 42 MPG City, Delayed Until 2022
Mercedes-Benz EQS Gets an EPA Estimated Range of 350 Miles
2022 Ford Mustang V8 Loses 10 Horsepower Because of Emissions Regulations
AAA Study Finds Driver-Assist Systems Struggle in Bad Weather
J.D. Power Study Finds That New Owners Don’t Use a Lot of Advanced Tech Features
Semiconductor Chip Shortage Could Extend Well Into 2022
- Toyota, Honda Voice Opposition to Proposed Tax Credit Bill
- General Motors Files Lawsuit Against Rival Ford for Naming its New Autonomous Driving Feature ‘BlueCruise’
- Hyundai and its Autonomous Driving Partner Motional Reveal the Next-Generation IONIQ 5 Robotaxi
- Luxury Brand Mercedes-Benz to Go All-Electric by 2030
- General Motors is Opening a New Engineering Center in Michigan to Develop Low Cost & Advanced EV Batteries
- China’s Baidu Unveils a Level-5 Robocar With No Steering Wheel & Gull-Wing Doors That ‘Moves, Communicates & Learns’
- Genesis Unveils All-Electric GV60 SUV Coming Next Year
- HT Aero, an Aviation Company Backed by Chinese EV Startup XPeng, Details its Latest ‘Flying Vehicle’ Named the X2
- Volkswagen Group’s Electric Vehicle Sales Double in Q3, YTD Sales Are Up 138% Compared to 2020
- 2022 Nissan Leaf Gets Price Cut, More Features