Lexus unveils experimental 'autonomous' car

Pete Griffin shows us the latest developments in the car industry


A self-driving Lexus? The luxury automaker believes it's possible soon.

"Our focus is to try and eliminate accidents in the future," says Jim Pisz, corporate manager for Toyota Motor Sales.

That focus comes in the form of an autonomous car equipped with a broad range of sensors and recognition technologies, including advanced GPS and radar systems that will allow the car and it’s driver to see obstacles and warnings, including red lights, as far as 150 meters away. The concept for such a vehicle, which is still in the research stage, was announced during this year's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

"(Images are) transmitted to some of our judgement technologies that make decisions on how to proceed. Does it make a left turn? Speed up, slow down?," says Pisz.

Lexus isn't the first company to try out the self-driving concept. Google was approved by the state of Nevada back in March to roll out its set of driverless cars and Audi also announced this week at CES that they are in the process of creating an autonomous car as well.

But Lexus hasn't provided a timetable for when the car will hit the market, preferring to take its time with such a big project based on cutting edge technology. And while the buzz word for autonomous cars is "driverless," the company stressed that safety will come first when it comes to operating their future vehicle.

"For Lexus, autonomous doesn't mean driverless," says Pisz.

"Our focus is to develop an intelligent, ever vigilant virtual co-pilot that will be sitting next to you and help you along to be a skillful driver, because skillful drivers are safe drivers."