Look closely. Notice something?
Like nearly all mainstream automakers, Lexus and its parent company Toyota are working hard at developing autonomous vehicle technologies. For Lexus, its first autonomous vehicle is slated to arrive sometime next year. One report claims it will debut at the 2020 Summer Olympic in Tokyo where Toyota just so happens to be one of the main sponsors. Also, don't be surprised to see the Japanese automaker to take advantage of the large viewership to debut its first battery-electric and fuel cell vehicles, the latter of which will be badged as a Lexus. But it's the autonomous vehicle that could be the most groundbreaking.
Question is, which Lexus model will receive the tech and how will it compare to what other brands have? Answers will come in due time. For now, a Reddit user has spotted something rather interesting at a New York dealership.
Yes, this is a Lexus LS 500h but it's not exactly normal. Notice anything? You should because it's been outfitted with autonomous technology, such as the radar sensors on top of the rear window and sides. The user who took the photos also noted the interior was modified with cameras and other related sensors. Another question is why was this test vehicle with supposedly still-secret technology parked at a Lexus dealership?
The user/photographer claims the woman driving it needed a replacement tire due to a puncture. She called the dealer first stating she had a secret car on its way that required a new tire and, equally important, did not want any additional attention. The user states everyone "swarmed it when it got there." So much for anonymity.
There is, however, a catch regarding this self-driving tech: it's for highway driving only. Eventually, this will change with technological advancements and legislation allowing for self-driving vehicles on regular roads. Meanwhile, Toyota and Lexus are continuing with final rounds of self-driving tech testing before the expected big debut next summer.