Tech

The Future of Lexus Self-Driving Cars

Lexus Autonomous Driving

For better or worse, self-driving cars have become the central driving force of automotive technology, paced only by electrification and battery-powered vehicles as the dominant storylines in the industry. These two market forces have the ability to create and destroy the largest car companies in the world, and it’s in this whirlwind that Toyota (and by extension, Lexus) finds itself struggling to keep up with competitors.

As a way to jumpstart its position, Toyota has embarked on an ambitious (and expensive) path of development, funneling over $4 billion of investment into robotics and AI research. The latest issue of Bloomberg Businessweek takes a deep look at this gamble to stay with the pack:

Just four years ago, Akio Toyoda, the [Toyota] president, was saying his company would pursue self-driving vehicles only after one beat a human driver—for instance, him—in a marathon road race. He’s not saying that anymore, because Toyota has too much to lose.

If the company fails to pick up the pace, Toyota could, in one version of the future, face the humiliation of becoming a mere steel-box supplier to upstarts such as Waymo and Baidu. Toyoda himself has singled out tech companies as “our new rivals, with speed many times greater than our own.” He added: “A life-or-death battle has begun in a world of unknowns.”

A paradox underlies these initiatives: Toyota doesn’t necessarily buy the hype about self-driving vehicles quickly taking control of roads in the U.S. and beyond. [Vice president for automated driving research John] Leonard himself isn’t sold. “Taking me from Cambridge to Logan Airport with no driver in any Boston weather or traffic condition—that might not be in my lifetime,” he says. On its website, the research institute describes its goal as to “someday develop a vehicle that is incapable of causing a crash.” It doesn’t specify whether this uncrashable car would be driverless.

(This is a significant article, outlining the past, present and future of Toyota’s autonomous driving initiatives. Highly recommended reading.)

Comments
L
  • L
  • March 22, 2018
Well, the video is shocking, and blaming anyone (system or victim) is not the right thing. If anyone is to blame, it is not the system, not necessarily the engineers, but the 'blind believers'.

The person was crossing a straight street, no curve, nothing was unpredictable (from what we see in the video). Radar/Lidar are supposed to see better than human and night in darkness, so in this case the system should have avoided the accident that a human would not, yet it failed.

Some might blame the victim, and say it would happen with human driver, but isn't the point of the system to save the from bad human decision (of the victim)? Should the pedestrian be also be replaced by autonomous humanoid? If she is to be blamed, then she is whether there is a human or system driving, in which case what is wrong with accidents when then victim is at fault?

Of course that changes when the crash of equivalent value, not car vs person but car vs car. There are many victims, those responsible (if you want to blame) and those not (of you want to take away blame, i.e the system in this case).

What if the autonomous car worshipers, are the 'bad drivers', thus want such cars?
L
  • L
  • March 22, 2018
Well, the video is shocking, and blaming anyone (system or victim) is not the right thing. If anyone is to blame, it is not the system, not necessarily the engineers, but the 'blind believers'.

The person was crossing a straight street, no curve, nothing was unpredictable (from what we see in the video). Radar/Lidar are supposed to see better than human and night in darkness, so in this case the system should have avoided the accident that a human would not, yet it failed.

Some might blame the victim, and say it would happen with human driver, but isn't the point of the system to save the from bad human decision (of the victim)? Should the pedestrian be also be replaced by autonomous humanoid? If she is to be blamed, then she is whether there is a human or system driving, in which case what is wrong with accidents when then victim is at fault?

Of course that changes when the crash of equivalent value, not car vs person but car vs car. There are many victims, those responsible (if you want to blame) and those not (of you want to take away blame, i.e the system in this case).

What if the autonomous car worshipers, are the 'bad drivers', thus want such cars?
ssun30
Seeing is better than hearing. Now I'm convinced. It was an unacceptable system failure.
Uber is known to have "bad" leadership, and I mean that - you can read up on their fight vs lyft, corporate espionage and why was their past CEO ousted... it is comically do-evil corporation. (as side note I do use uber all the time, i love the service).

So it is not hard to tie the dots here and see how these rumors of how pedestrian jumped in front of the vehicle, from the bushes, etc, etc, were paid by Uber. Anyone on the scene of crime, be it reported or cop, would see it is a wide street, no distraction, person was crossing from opposite side so no bushes, even the street lights were few meters away.
ssun30
Seeing is better than hearing. Now I'm convinced. It was an unacceptable system failure.
Uber is known to have "bad" leadership, and I mean that - you can read up on their fight vs lyft, corporate espionage and why was their past CEO ousted... it is comically do-evil corporation. (as side note I do use uber all the time, i love the service).

So it is not hard to tie the dots here and see how these rumors of how pedestrian jumped in front of the vehicle, from the bushes, etc, etc, were paid by Uber. Anyone on the scene of crime, be it reported or cop, would see it is a wide street, no distraction, person was crossing from opposite side so no bushes, even the street lights were few meters away.
Levi
Well, the video is shocking, and blaming anyone (system or victim) is not the right thing. If anyone is to blame, it is not the system, not necessarily the engineers, but the 'blind believers'.

The person was crossing a straight street, no curve, nothing was unpredictable (from what we see in the video). Radar/Lidar are supposed to see better than human and night in darkness, so in this case the system should have avoided the accident that a human would not, yet it failed.
I think system failure will clearly be blamed as well as test driver.. here you can check how these affordable systems work:


So the Volvo was going at 63kmh, and test above is 55kmh. I am sure factory Volvo system would do at least as good as Lexus one above, since it is already older version of Lexus/Toyota system and it is base/standard system too.

So at very least, autonomous system has a lot more sensors and can react a lot faster. Both lidar and radar do the same or better in dark than light, so it is actually perfect situation for system to react, just like test above.

System and test driver did not react even after a hit.
Levi
Well, the video is shocking, and blaming anyone (system or victim) is not the right thing. If anyone is to blame, it is not the system, not necessarily the engineers, but the 'blind believers'.

The person was crossing a straight street, no curve, nothing was unpredictable (from what we see in the video). Radar/Lidar are supposed to see better than human and night in darkness, so in this case the system should have avoided the accident that a human would not, yet it failed.
I think system failure will clearly be blamed as well as test driver.. here you can check how these affordable systems work:


So the Volvo was going at 63kmh, and test above is 55kmh. I am sure factory Volvo system would do at least as good as Lexus one above, since it is already older version of Lexus/Toyota system and it is base/standard system too.

So at very least, autonomous system has a lot more sensors and can react a lot faster. Both lidar and radar do the same or better in dark than light, so it is actually perfect situation for system to react, just like test above.

System and test driver did not react even after a hit.
R
okay ill add my $0.02 on autonomous driving bc as a LTS my job is always to stay on top of the latest and greatest.

obviously, the end game here is to have self driving cars, and not just lexus, but the entire automotive industry for mass market consumers. i saw something recently i think, about a chevy spark w/o a steering wheel. the real question here is when will this actually be a real thing that cars have in well, anywhere usa. i think there are many different factors and topics on the subject, and personally i think we are maybe, maybe 10 years from roads full of cars that drive themselves. we have the technology to do this and we have for years. i think at this point, its more of an emotional/mental barrier that we as a species need to break down. radar/laser guided cruise control systems have been around 20 years, and truth be told i dont think it has come nearly as far as it could have by now, simply because of the mental barrier we hold deep in our minds subconsciously.

i will say this. as an enthusiast, although i love the idea of being on a long highway cruise, pushing a button and letting the car do everything for me (lexus LSS+ comes damn close), i dread the day the steering wheel vanishes from our dashboards. many people these days consider driving a chore rather than recreation, regardless of what they are driving. i hear something to that tone atleast once a week from one of my guests, and honestly i dont blame them from thier point of view. if you have ever experienced Orlando rush hour traffic, you know what im talking about..
R
okay ill add my $0.02 on autonomous driving bc as a LTS my job is always to stay on top of the latest and greatest.

obviously, the end game here is to have self driving cars, and not just lexus, but the entire automotive industry for mass market consumers. i saw something recently i think, about a chevy spark w/o a steering wheel. the real question here is when will this actually be a real thing that cars have in well, anywhere usa. i think there are many different factors and topics on the subject, and personally i think we are maybe, maybe 10 years from roads full of cars that drive themselves. we have the technology to do this and we have for years. i think at this point, its more of an emotional/mental barrier that we as a species need to break down. radar/laser guided cruise control systems have been around 20 years, and truth be told i dont think it has come nearly as far as it could have by now, simply because of the mental barrier we hold deep in our minds subconsciously.

i will say this. as an enthusiast, although i love the idea of being on a long highway cruise, pushing a button and letting the car do everything for me (lexus LSS+ comes damn close), i dread the day the steering wheel vanishes from our dashboards. many people these days consider driving a chore rather than recreation, regardless of what they are driving. i hear something to that tone atleast once a week from one of my guests, and honestly i dont blame them from thier point of view. if you have ever experienced Orlando rush hour traffic, you know what im talking about..
R
btw, i put the PCS / ICS system to the test a few times in the real world. -im one of those people crazy enough to walk in front of an RX 350 going 10 mph thats convinced it will stop, bc i believe in these products, im not afraid to skin my knees, and just being one of those people that want to see how things work out of pure curiosity. i also tried higher speed testing of it in one of my videos, using a cardboard box with a persons face on it. i will say this, its pretty reliable!! with radar cruise control engaged, the car came to a complete stop at 30 mph with the cardboard cutout!!! i made 5 passes at different speeds. but no PCS system is fail proof. i did hit the box, once..
R
btw, i put the PCS / ICS system to the test a few times in the real world. -im one of those people crazy enough to walk in front of an RX 350 going 10 mph thats convinced it will stop, bc i believe in these products, im not afraid to skin my knees, and just being one of those people that want to see how things work out of pure curiosity. i also tried higher speed testing of it in one of my videos, using a cardboard box with a persons face on it. i will say this, its pretty reliable!! with radar cruise control engaged, the car came to a complete stop at 30 mph with the cardboard cutout!!! i made 5 passes at different speeds. but no PCS system is fail proof. i did hit the box, once..
  • krew
  • September 20, 2018
krew

The Future of Lexus Self-Driving Cars
[​IMG]

An exhaustive overview by Businessweek.
View the original article post
  • krew
  • September 20, 2018
krew

The Future of Lexus Self-Driving Cars
[​IMG]

An exhaustive overview by Businessweek.
View the original article post
S
Many people don't understand the so-called Hype Cycle: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hype_cycle

While not a law, the hype cycle curve proved to be correct in predicting the adoption rate of many new technologies in the past two decades. EVs, for example, are in the stage of 'Slope of Enlightenment', after the mass extinction of EV start-ups in early 2010s. Once a new technology passes this phase, wide scale adoption is just a matter of time. That is why EV is not a scam. They will replace ICEVs and HVs, eventually. On the other hand, FCVs are in the stage of trough of disillusionment, which is why the press is overwhelmingly negative about them.

Autonomous driving is now at the peak of inflated expectations, with 'tech companies' setting an unsustainabe fast pace in their race to L4. The truth is, the trough of disillusionment will come sooner or later, as tech companies ignore a lot of basic engineering principles to accelerate progress.

The sad thing is that world economy is becoming too hot especially in the tech industry. This results in a 'hype-driven' investment culture, where investors rely too much on (often false) promises instead of actual progress and financial results when making decisions. That's why Tesla is still afloat and why Alphabet is able to pour $10b into autonomous driving (and yes, that's more money than Musk spends in his Mars rocket).
R
  • R
    RAL
  • September 20, 2018
hmmm ... from the article: "... 55% of consumers surveyed wouldn't ride in a fully autonomous car, but more than 70% would ride in one that was partially autonomous - some of the very customers Toyota is targeting."

Change is coming; it is just a question of how fast.

R
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