Toyota recently announced plans to introduce a new Automated Highway Driving Assist (AHDA) system that will use automated driving technologies to support safer highway driving. The system will be introduced in the mid-2010s and it will use cooperative-adaptive cruise control and lane trace control technology to ensure that vehicles stay within their intended driving lanes and follow a safe distance behind other vehicles.
Although Toyota has not announced plans to release a fully autonomous vehicle, the Automated Highway Driving Assist system will go a great distance towards improving highway safety. Toyota maintains that it still wants the ultimate control of a vehicle to stay with the driver. Toyota plans to market the newly developed AHDA in the mid-2010s, with other driving support systems soon to follow.
Toyota’s cooperative-adaptive cruise control uses 700-MHz band vehicle-to-vehicle ITS communications to transmit acceleration and deceleration data of preceding vehicles so that following vehicles can adjust their speeds accordingly to better maintain inter-vehicle distance. The Lane Trace Control system uses cameras, millimeter-wave radar, and control software to enable an optimal and smooth driving line at all speeds. The system adjusts the vehicle’s steering angle, driving torque and braking force when necessary to maintain the optimal line within a lane.