Many car enthusiasts have castigated Toyota in recent years because it has supposedly killed driving fun by taking away models like the Supra, MR2 and Celica, while simultaneously making the Camry an even more soulless monster on wheels. Perhaps those enthusiasts will start changing their tune now that there is the Scion FR-S, and the Supra is about to make a splashy comeback, along with the possibility of an even smaller sports car (rumored to possibly be an MR2). Adding fuel to that fire is the fact that the Japanese automaker is now going to bat for drivers as an increasing number of its colleagues have essentially stated the humans are “stupid” and advanced driving technology is “smart.”
Toyota boasts a highly advanced technical center that is based in Saline, Michigan. While some might balk at the research done there, those who are in the know are aware just how advanced the research conducted there can be. So when executives from the company announced at the Saline installation that a fully automated car was not going to be pursued, it was a big deal.
Believe it or not, safety is the reason for Toyota’s foregoing of a car that can drive itself without any human intervention. After Google, Audi, Nissan and others have forged ahead wholeheartedly to wrestle control of vehicles from humans and put it into the control of a computer, Toyota is saying that such pursuits are misguided.
Don’t think this means that Toyota will be rolling back driver assistance technologies in its vehicles. Instead, it will just be creating cars that are semi-autonomous instead of fully so. That means you won’t be able to sit back and watch a movie instead of driving your 2023 Toyota Camry, because the automaker’s research has concluded that an alert human behind the wheel is much better at predicting problems on the road than a computer and a series of sensors.