Toyota aims for automated cars, but wants drivers to keep control image

Despite the influx of technology that can take away that responsibility and rising pressure from rivals determined to debut self-driving vehicles by 2020, Toyota wants the driver to remain the most important decision-maker in the car.

Moritaka Yoshida, Toyota’s managing officer for vehicle control systems said that it Toyota’s conclusion after more than two decades of research on autonomous and automated driving.

“We believe that it should be the driver that is at the center; the driver should take the initiatives,” he said. “Think about airplanes,” Yoshida added during an interview. “They have an autopilot, but when it comes to important operations, the pilot will always take over and the system will support the pilot’s maneuvers. So the same with the cars, the driver should be at the center.”

Yoshida said Toyota’s research in the field will continue at a “very high level,” adding that the world’s largest automaker would offer automated driving systems but not autonomous driving systems.

Toyota has reason to be concern about taking responsibility away from the driver. Last month a jury in the U.S. state of Oklahoma awarded two plaintiffs $3 million in damages in their case against Toyota regarding the unintended acceleration issues.

Via Automotive News Europe