Lexus says it supports partial hands-free driving.
Lexus facelifted its flagship LS sedan last year with subtle exterior changes, retuned suspension, and most importantly, a new touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. It's only been a year since this facelift, but the LS is about to get another important update for the 2022 model year, at least in hybrid form. The 2022 Lexus LS 500h will be the first model in the US to offer the Lexus Teammate advanced driver assistance technology. This advanced feature was previously available in the Japanese market but wasn't available stateside due to regulatory reasons.
The Lexus Teammate suite includes two important features: Advanced Drive and Advanced Park. Advanced Drive supports SAE Level 2 semi-autonomous driving, much like Cadillac's Super Cruise and Tesla's Autopilot. Only the Honda Legend in Japan currently offers a Level 3 system.
Lexus says Advanced Drive is designed for limited-access highways and supports partial hands-free, eyes-on-the-road operation. We have yet to test this system, but it sounds far more advanced than what's currently offered in the LS. Lexus hasn't specified how long this system will support hands-free driving, so it sounds like Super Cruise still has a slight edge.
Advanced Park does exactly what it sounds like, control the steering, acceleration, braking, and gear changes during parking maneuvers. This system uses 360-degree sensing combined with a bird's-eye view display to make parallel parking or backing into a space completely automatic.
Oddly, Lexus specified that these new features are only available on the 2022 LS 500h with AWD, meaning RWD models won't have it. The press release curiously doesn't mention the non-hybrid LS 500 having Lexus Teammate, and CarBuzz has reached out to Lexus to find out why this might be the case.
Though it isn't mentioned in the release, it appears the 2022 LS will receive a new, all-digital instrument cluster, replacing the current split unit. The 2022 Lexus LS 500 and LS 500h are expected to arrive in dealerships later this fall, so more information should come before then.