We got a chance to catch up with Jim Pisz, corporate manager of North American business strategy for Toyota to learn a little more about the car and why they’re building it. As it turns out, while Toyota is on the road to developing an autonomous-driving car, they’re really most interested in what they learn from the car.
Pisz says this Lexus-branded car is a research vehicle with a wide range of tech. That includes LIDAR, which is a group of lasers spinning 10 times per second, creating a 360 degree, birds-eye view of what’s around the car. That works along with radar on the front and sides, high-def cameras and multiple GPS devices. The thing is literally bristling with tech. All this collective wizardry determines the car’s exact location, as well as the location of vehicles and objects around it.
While the goal, he says, is for the car to recognize, process and react, Toyota believes an autonomous car is not a driverless car, at least initially and for the foreseeable future.