Toyota is aiming to achieve 14.2 billion kilometers (~8.8 billion miles) of autonomous test driving miles before it includes such technologies in its vehicles, going by comments made by Toyota president and CEO Akio Toyoda at the Paris Motor Show.
I wonder if the company will really reach that figure before releasing something, though? There’s a decent chance that there will be fully autonomous vehicles on the roads (in some cities and regions, probably not everywhere) within only 5 or so years. Will Toyota really just sit on the sidelines being extra cautious?
Autoblog provides more: “The other interesting piece of the Toyota autonomy picture is that Toyoda referred to the car driving itself as chauffeur mode. He also emphasized, again, that Toyota is committed to making cars fun to drive. (That doesn’t always bear itself out in the driving, but that’s another story.) He went as far as to ask, ‘If a car is not fun to drive, what’s the point?’ This is a theme that will be carried through to the company’s autonomous-capable cars, once those 8.8 billion miles have been racked to make sure everything’s safe.”
Going by these comments, I wonder if Toyota is truly aware of the great changes that are coming to the auto industry over the next decade or two. I’m skeptical that many in the younger generations truly care that much about whether a car is fun to drive or not, most seem to just want to be able to get from point A to point B — preferably while working in the backseat, talking to someone, or doing something on a smartphone.
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