Toyota Focused More On Safety Over Vehicle Autonomy

Cameron Aubernon
by Cameron Aubernon

Though Google was more than happy to turn a few Prii into autonomous test beds, Toyota doesn’t see much of a future for autonomous vehicles from the tech giant or Toyota’s competitors.

Autoblog reports “Toyota’s main objective is safety,” not developing autonomous vehicles of its own, according to the automaker’s deputy chief safety technology officer, Seigo Kuzumaki. He adds that he and Toyota’s top brass don’t believe such vehicles will have much marketability outside of the technocratic state of Silcon Valley, nor are they certain the technology is ready for primetime.

At the present, Toyota is working on 34 projects with 17 partners, including those involving V2V and V2I communication systems. That said, it believes the human behind the wheel is just as important as the computers running most of the show. Thus, the driver will not become a passenger in the near-term.

Cameron Aubernon
Cameron Aubernon

Seattle-based writer, blogger, and photographer for many a publication. Born in Louisville. Raised in Kansas. Where I lay my head is home.

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  • Petezeiss Petezeiss on Sep 05, 2014

    Jethro: Yes SIR, Mr. Tanaki, this here's the Car of the Future! See? I bolted the robot I made outta Granny's possum cooker to the top o' this here little car. Darned if that rascal don't just take over and drive all by hisself! I bet you could take this back to your company in Japan and make us both rich as King Midas! Mr. Tanaki: Uhhh.. King who?

  • Jdash1972 Jdash1972 on Sep 05, 2014

    Translation: autonomous cars are years and years and years away from being ready for actual use. It's vaporware and a million other things will need to happen first and in the end there's no guarantee that robots will drive better than people, they'll just have different kinds of accidents. Like trying to park 100,000 cars in the same spot...

  • OneAlpha OneAlpha on Sep 05, 2014

    If a company like Toyota, which is interested above all else in making money and has a proven track record of being able to do so quite spectacularly, has decided not to pursue autonomous vehicle technology at this time, then there must be some sort of huge problem inherent in the technology. Personally, I think it's because no computer ever built has the flexibility of the human brain to adapt to its surroundings, and no computer on the immediate horizon can do the job either. It's even possible that it may not be possible to build such a computer. To make an autonomous self-driving car practical would require a capacity for situational awareness equal to at least an animal's, and we don't know how to make a synthetic animal brain, to say nothing of the sensor network required for self-propulsion within a given environment. Yet. Toyota's right to wait and see.

  • 05lgt 05lgt on Sep 05, 2014

    And this is the same company pursuing H2? Hmmm.