Toyota Wants To Turn Your Daily Drive Into A Road Map For Autonomous Cars

Toyota says they expect to have autonomous cars ready to go by around 2020. That technology will revolve around an extremely detailed network of maps with data collected by anyone who might be driving one of their cars.

The idea is that production Toyotas with cameras and GPS units will start logging lots of data about everywhere they go; lanes, speed limits, signs, everything in the car’s field of vision.

That information will then be uploaded to a cloud that Toyota’s engineers will distill into programming for later cars to drive themselves down those very same roads.

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Since current road-mapping vehicles (Google cars) are singular, Toyota posits that their data will go out of date more quickly than a map that’s constantly being drawn and redrawn by thousands of cars on the road.

Whether or not this is something future Toyota buyers will be able to opt in or out of has not yet been stated. But yeah, I might tell my Camry to get off my lawn if it tries to beam my daily driving habits back to Toyota HQ.

Toyota stated “the system’s margin error [is limited] to a maximum of 5 cm on straight roads,” in a press release and that the tech would be phased in for highway use only but eventually ramped up to, well, everywhere.

More details on how the tech works and how you’ll be able to benefit from it (or hide from it) will be coming out at the 2016 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas from January 8th to the 9th.

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Images via Toyota


Contact the author at andrew@jalopnik.com.

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DISCUSSION

justinhughes54
Justin Hughes

So riddle me this... I just had a delightfully traffic free drive into work where the average speed of traffic was around 80mph. The limit is 65. How will autonomous cars deal with that? Will they stick rigidly to the speed limit, even when it means becoming a roadblock to everyone else on the road? Or will they adapt, despite breaking the law, and continue to flow with the speed of other traffic? If they stick to the limit, I foresee a time when the number of autonomous cars doing strictly the speed limit reaches a critical mass where they cause more traffic problems than they solve, both by slowing down traffic and by irritating human drivers so much that they go to extreme lengths to get around them, causing accidents.

At least program autonomous cars to GTFO of the left lane when they’re doing the speed limit. That alone will help a lot.