In other words, don't expect a self-driving car from Toyota anytime soon.
Although Google has been making good use of a Toyota Prius as a prototype vehicle for self-driving cars, don't expect the automaker itself to follow suit. Toyota's deputy chief safety technology officer has just made the company's intention crystal clear: "Toyota will not be developing a driverless car." The reason? Because humans will always need to be able to handle situations that can't be anticipated by a computer. That's right, Google. Perhaps you ought to listen to Toyota, who happens to know a thing or two about cars.
However, Toyota has no plans to outright ignore safety technologies. By mid-decade, Toyota plans to reveal its next generation safety systems, and by 2017 it promises to have collision-prevention technology installed across its entire US lineup. What other technologies are in the pipeline? There'll be a system that allows cars to steer themselves to stay in the center lane, as well as a camera that monitors the driver's eyes and makes sure the hands are on the steering wheel. Radar-activated cruise control will also continue to evolve and improve. Now we know its plans, will other automakers ignore driverless technology and follow Toyota's path?