TOYOTA CITY, Japan—Public testing will begin in Japan next week on semi-autonomous automotive technology that Toyota Motor Corp. expects will hit the marketplace in the next few years.
Toyota’s Automated Highway Driving Assist (AHDA) technology will begin public trials near Tokyo Oct. 15 and will be on display at the Intelligent Transport Systems World Congress 2013 in the Japanese capital the same week.
According to the automaker, its AHDA system couples a pair of automated driving technologies—Cooperative-adaptive Cruise Control and Lane Trace Control—to help “support safer driving and reduce driver workload.”
Cooperative-adaptive Cruise Control wirelessly communicates with other vehicles on the road to help maintain a safe distance, while Lane Trace Control aids steering to keep the vehicle on an optimal driving line within the lane.
While details were scarce, Toyota said it’s important that the driver be “in ultimate control of a vehicle,” and plans to roll out the technology where the driver maintains control at all times “and the fun-to-drive aspect of controlling a vehicle is not compromised.”
Toyota has been researching automated driving technologies since the second half of the 1990s, and has been conducting public road tests in the United States for a number of years.
In Japan, Toyota has been testing its next-generation Intelligent Driver-support System on public roads for approximately two years.
Toyota plans to market the newly-developed AHDA in the mid-2010s.