In response to Cadillac’s Super Cruise and Tesla’s Autopilot, Toyota recently unveiled its newest Advanced Drive autonomous driving system, a human-centric driving assist feature born from the automaker’s Mobility Teammate Concept. Toyota’s latest Advanced Drive ADAS feature will first appear in the 2021 Lexus LS and Toyota Mirai FCEV.
The premise of Advanced Drive “seeks to enhance communication between drivers and cars,” said Toyota, where “drivers and cars act as partners to protect one another.” Naturally, artificial intelligence is at the core of Advanced Drive, but the system considers the human element when making crucial decisions on the road. “The objective is driving assist that fosters trust between driver and car through this two-way communication,” added Toyota.
Like other ADAS systems, Advanced Drive keeps the vehicle in lane, automatically maintains a safe distance from other cars, navigates a lane split, or changes lanes without driver intervention. It can also overtake other vehicles and allows for smooth driving around curves or in traffic.
Toyota also focused on the aspect of both active and passive safety for its newest Advanced Drive. The system gathers data using telescopic cameras, high-precision maps, and state-of-the-art LiDAR to detect vehicles in the same lane much earlier than previous pre-collision safety systems. If the system detects a possible collision, it issues a warning via a color meter or heads-up color display and a buzzer. The system can apply full braking force to prevent accidents when necessary.
Additionally, Toyota Advanced Drive enables over-the-air (OTA) software updates to add or enhance particular safety functions after buying the car. The first vehicles to have optional Advanced Drive are the 2021 Lexus LS and Toyota Mirai.
The Lexus LS recently debuted in Japan. Here in America, the 2021 LS 500 has a 3.5-liter turbocharged V6 pumping out 416 horsepower and 442 pound-feet of torque. It also has Lexus Temmate with a parking assist function. We’re expecting Drive Assist to debut soon to all U.S.-bound Lexus LS sedans, including the LS500 H hybrid.
Meanwhile, the second-gen 2021 Toyota Mirai fuel cell electric vehicle (FCEV) can go 402 miles on a full tank of hydrogen. The newest Mirai is debuting in Japan on April 12, 2021, and will feature Advanced Drive on specific trim models.
In this part of the globe, the Mirai is available in XLE and Limited trims. The base Toyota Mirai XLE has a lower $9,000 base price than the outgoing model, a further incentive to forge the hydrogen FCEV route.