The Toyota Motor Corporation plans on using the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics to showcase its next generation of autonomous driving technology. Observers have claimed that Toyota is falling behind in autonomous vehicles while Nissan, Toyota’s largest domestic rival, has received positive press for its innovations in self-driving technology. Toyota plans to quash these concerns at the 2020 Summer Olympics.
While Toyota’s current suite of semi-autonomous driving aids is scheduled to be introduced in the Toyota and Lexus line next year, the automaker has a litany of prototypes that will hit the market in the 2020s. Toyota sees the Olympics as a key cog in its plan to help reshape public opinion and convince other manufacturers and suppliers that the company can compete in the global auto tech game.
Toyota has stressed that its number one focus will be safety and its number two goal will be convenience. This is evident when you look at how the company talks about its new tech. The company likes to avoid using words like ‘autonomous’ as they believe that this does not accurately reflect the nature of the technology and believe that it may provide drivers with a false sense of security; they prefer words like ‘automated.’ They’ve even named their vision statement for this category as the ‘mobility teammate concept,’ in that the driver and the car will need to work as partners in the whole driving experience. This seems particularly fitting for the company as it becomes a global sponsor of the Olympic Games.