Toyota’s General Manager of Intelligent Vehicle Development has confirmed the automaker will use the 2020 Summer Olympics to showcase an assortment of semi-autonomous vehicles.
Speaking to Automotive News, Ken Koibuchi said the company has big plans for the Olympics which will be held in Tokyo for the first time since 1964.
He declined to go into specifics but said the company will showcase its next-generation semi-autonomous driving system as well as prototypes which preview technology that will be introduced later in the decade. As Koibuchi stated, “We want to show a high-spec technology as a showcase.”
Details are light at the moment but the publication notes the Japanese government is pushing automakers to map the country’s roads and Koibuchi believes most of the highways will mapped in time for the Olympics. This could pave the way for semi-autonomous vehicles to cruise the highways with relative ease.
Despite the mapping efforts, Koibuchi said the company still needs to start using lidar sensors. Costs have been dropping and the manager said we can expect to see them on Toyota and Lexus vehicles in the “near future.”
Toyota’s next-generation semi-autonomous driving system is expected to start showing up in vehicles next year so it’s likely we’ll learn more about the technology ahead of the Olympic Games.