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Toyota Continues to Advance Self-Driving Cars

April 09, 2016

Automaker Toyota announced that it will open its third research lab in the United States for the study of artificial intelligence towards the development of self-driving cars. Currently, the Japanese car manufacturer has a research lab in Palo Alto, California as well as Cambridge, Massachusetts. The new facility will open in Ann Arbor, Michigan, near the University of Michigan. Toyota states that the facility will focus primarily on self-driving cars, which it hopes could be available to the masses in time.

Most researchers agree that self-driving cars will help to prevent accidents and save lives. Our attorney team at Montlick and Associates, Attorneys at Law, supports new technologies that may reduce current accident rates. We feel that self-driving cars could soon eliminate the human error element to driving, which is the single largest contributing factor to accidents. In the meantime, we will continue to represent our injured clients against the negligent parties responsible for their injuries.

Fully Autonomous Vehicles

Toyota is one of several companies pushing for the creation of fully autonomous vehicles. The company will invest $1 billion into research and development in artificial intelligence within the next five years. Artificial intelligence is the main component of a self-driving vehicle, critical to the computer brain of the vehicle.

Toyota CEO Gill Pratt spoke of the importance of self-driving vehicles during the announcement of its company's plans to open a third research facility. Pratt stated that 1.2 million people are tragically killed in accidents annually, which is far more than the amount of people killed in war. These deaths demand further attention to the area of car safety and technology to prevent accidents.

The "Guardian Angel" System

In addition to working towards a fully autonomous vehicle, Toyota is continuing its development of a so-called "guardian angel" system. The system is a step towards autonomous driving, but it eases the driver towards it. This system would only temporarily take control of the wheel from the driver during a hazardous moment. Toyota developed the system in light of research that shows human drivers can take up to eight seconds to readjust to driving a formerly autonomous vehicle. Rather than allow for that lag period, the guardian angel system allows you to drive, but will take over if you are about to get into an accident. It is similar in that way to automatic braking but has more comprehensive abilities.

With trillions of dollars pouring into the self-driving car industry, it is likely we will see significant advances in car safety in the next few years. While fully autonomous vehicles are likely still some years away, other live-saving technologies could be released shortly.

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Category: Auto Accidents

Please Note:
Many of our blog articles discuss the law. All information provided about the law is very general in nature and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Every situation is different, and should be analyzed by a lawyer who can provide individualized advice based on the facts involved in your unique situation, and a consideration of all of the nuances of the statutes and case law that apply at the time.