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Toyota Says No to Fully Autonomous Cars

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After debuting an autonomous car at the 2013 Consumer Electronics Show, Toyota said last week that it’s not developing a completely self-driving model like most automakers and Google. Instead, Toyota said it will focus on advanced safety and convenience features that can assist drivers by taking over braking and steering.

“Toyota’s main objective is safety, so it will not be developing a driverless car,” Seigo Kuzumaki, Toyota’s deputy chief safety technology officer, said at a seminar outside Detroit last week, which MSN Autos attended.

But Toyota did give us a demo drive in a Lexus GS that virtually drove itself in a loop around downtown Detroit, if just for short stretches. The technology, called Automated Highway Driving Assist (AHDA), is similar to certain models from Mercedes-Benz.

Toyota also announced that its Pre-Collision System that automatically applies the brakes to help prevent or mitigate a front-end accident will the available throughout its complete vehicle lineup by 2017. In other words, a self-driving car – but only in certain instances.

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Car Tech Spotlight: Audi A3 Efficiency Program

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While some sort of “eco meter” is now found on many vehicles, which allows drivers to instantaneously check how their driving style affects their fuel economy (and pocketbook), some of the displays are getting even more granular. For … [Continue reading]

GM Cars Could Soon Detect Distracted Driving

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Driver distraction is not a new problem. But these days more drivers are looking away from the road to glance at portable devices -- and increasing their chances of becoming distracted and a danger to themselves and others on the road. While a … [Continue reading]

J.D. Power: Bluetooth Still Problematic in Cars

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As automakers add more connected features to their cars, using Bluetooth for making hands-free phone calls is by now a basic technology, and the connection for more advanced functions. But according to a new study by J.D. Power and Associates, the … [Continue reading]

Should Google or Apple Run U.S. Vehicle-to-Vehicle Communication?

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The U.S. Department of Transportation's long-running Connected Vehicle Safety Pilot Program reached a crescendo of sorts last week with the announcement that the federal government is taking the first steps towards mandating vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) … [Continue reading]