Toyota Not Expecting Driverless Cars Soon

September 8, 2014 3:00 PM

Toyota Not Expecting Driverless Cars Soon
" YPSILANTI, Mich. (AP) - Your car soon will do more to help avoid a crash. As for one day leaving all the driving to the vehicle while you relax in back, don’t get your hopes up.

That’s the message from safety executives at Toyota, who on Thursday promised by 2017 to have collision-prevention technology installed across its U.S. line-up, in both mainstream and luxury vehicles.

But for now at least, every vehicle the company designs and builds will require someone in the driver seat.

Toyota expects by “mid-decade” to roll out a next generation of safety systems in the U.S. that allow cars to steer themselves enough to stay in the center of a lane. And to keep the driver focused on the task at hand — driving — the cars will also feature a camera that monitors the driver’s eyes and makes sure that hands are on the steering wheel. If the eyes drift off the road or hands come off the wheel, the car would issue a warning.

“In other words, a full-time back-seat driver,” Ken Koibuchi, general manager of Toyota’s intelligent vehicle division, said at Thursday’s briefing "

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