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2021 Lexus LS Facelift Brings More Tech, Semi-Autonomous Driving System

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【Summary】A new infotainment system that utilizes a touchscreen is now standard, too. 

Original Vineeth Joel Patel    Jul 13, 2020 7:25 AM PT
2021 Lexus LS Facelift Brings More Tech, Semi-Autonomous Driving System

Large sedans aren't as popular as they once were, but automakers still use large, luxury sedans as the primary vessels to introduce new technology. Case in point, the 2021 Lexus LS is receiving a facelift for the model year and it's coming with some new technology. While the information and pictures are for a Japan-spec LS, there's a good chance that U.S. versions will come with similar features.

Ushering In Lexus Teammate

Let's get the biggest change out of the way first. The 2021 LS will come with a new suite of advanced driver-assist features that Lexus calls "Lexus Teammate." According to the automaker, Lexus Teammate was developed with autonomous driving in mind, which means the system is centered around being able to "communicate like friends, reach out to each other for mutual enhancement, and drive together."

The system utilizes five characteristics: perception, intelligence, interaction, reliability, and upgradability. Advanced Drive, which sounds like a subhead of Lexus Teammate, is capable of performing peripheral recognition, allows the vehicle to estimate its and others position on the road, automatically adjust the car's speed, and "conducts other tasks." Also, software updates, which we assume will come from over-the-air updates, will allow Lexus to add more features in the future.

In the real world, Lexus Teammate and Advanced Drive will be able to keep the LS in its lane, maintain a set distance from a vehicle in front, complete lane changes, and overtake other cars on the highway. Lexus claims the driver is "freed from operation of the accelerator, brakes, and steering." While that makes it sound like a hands-off system, Lexus doesn't confirm that.

Advanced Park is another subset of Lexus Teammate and allows the LS to park itself without any input from the driver. It also provides a bird's-eye view to aid the driver in parking the sedan.

Other Changes Coming For 2021

On the inside, the facelift sees the sedan benefit from a 12.3-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility. A digital rearview mirror is now included in the mix, too.

Beyond the tech updates, the 2021 LS comes with a new headlight design, though the overall vehicle looks nearly identical to the 2020 model year. The headlights have what Lexus calls BladeScan AHS (adaptive high-beam system) that debuted on the RX in 2019. The system shines light from LEDs onto a spinning blade mirror that's then transferred to a lens that illuminates the road ahead. Since this didn't come to the U.S. with the RX, it probably won't be offered with the 2021 LS in America.

Lastly, the sedan's adaptive suspension system has been updated to provide a more comfortable ride. Vibrations are reduced, while improvements in noise-cancellation methods and enhancements to cancel out the engine's noise result in a cabin that's quieter than before.

While not revolutionary, the small changes should add up to what is a more luxurious vehicle. We're especially excited to see how Lexus' Teammate suite works and whether it arrives in the U.S. We won't have to wait much longer, as Lexus claims information on the 2021 LS for the American market should arrive within the next few months

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