Toyota Still Has Reservations About Autonomous Vehicles

While many of the world’s leading automakers are accelerating the development of autonomous vehicles, Toyota still has some reservations.

During an interview with Bloomberg, chief executive officer of the Toyota Research Institute, Gill Pratt said that society will never tolerate road-related deaths caused by computers even though we’ve come to accept fatal crashes caused by human error.

Speaking at CES 2017 in Las Vegas, Pratt said “None of us in the automobile or IT industries are close to achieving true Level 5 autonomy. It will take many years of machine learning and many more miles than anyone has logged of both simulated and real-world testing to achieve the perfection required.”

Pratt’s reservations come despite the Japanese automaker investing $1 billion to launch the Toyota Research Institute with the aim of recruiting leading researchers in artificial intelligence, materials science and robotics.

According to Pratt, Toyota is currently focused on Level 2 autonomy where the car can take control of steering, braking and acceleration under certain circumstances. He believes that the carmaker may decide to skip Level 3 autonomy entirely and focus on Level 4 autonomy where a vehicle’s on board computers can perform all driving decisions.

Note: Toyota FCV Plus

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