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The Automated Highway Driving Assist System from Toyota

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I’m still waiting for the day that I can just hop in my car, tell it where to go, and then sit back and relax as it drives me off to my destination. You know, without all of those Total Recall homicidal Johnnycab shenanigans.

We are slowly inching our way closer to the reality of the self-driving car, this time with the newest innovation from Toyota: the Automated Highway Driving Assist (AHDA) system. Unlike other prototypes and demos, AHDA could see implementation in consumer-ready cars in as little as two or three years.

You could think of AHDA as a more advanced version of the cruise control that we already have today. It can control not only acceleration and deceleration as need, but also lane maintenance on the highway. You get 700MHz vehicle-to-vehicle ITS communications to keep a safe following distance. That helps to improve fuel efficiency and reduce congestion, because it means that you’re not gassing up and slowing down as much.

The AHDA system also has Lane Trace Control. This is the evolution of Toyota’s Lane Keeping Assist system, adding in teh ability to adjust the steering angle, torque and breaking to help you stay in your lane. This is, of course, only suitable on the highway and not so much in the city. The system works with a numnber of high-performance cameras, milimeter-wave radar and accompanying software.

Will we see this added to Google’s self-driving cars in some way?

About Michael Kwan

A freelance writer and tech geek from Vancouver. Find me at michaelkwan.com and follow me on Twitter @michaelkwan.

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