Japanese automakers are starting to hunt down their American and Chinese competitors, which have already developed and proposed semi-autonomous driving options for mainstream models. According to the Nikkei Asia report, Mazda, Toyota and Subaru will start rolling out Tier 2 self-driving technology in most of their models.
As you know, autonomous technologies are divided into 5 main levels, the highest of which does not require human intervention, and the vehicle moves completely independently. Level 2 allows hands-free driving on the highway, but the person behind the wheel has full responsibility and must be ready to take control at any time.
Currently, companies such as Waymo boast Level 4 drone systems. In Japan, however, the use of these technologies has not yet been authorized, so local manufacturers need to focus on Level 2 and 3 for their 2022 models.
The Yano Research Institute in Tokyo estimates that about 62% of self-driving vehicles in Japan will have tier 2 as standard by 2030. Currently, this technology is only available for expensive models – Lexus and Toyota Mirai sedans, which run on hydrogen batteries.
However, this year the system will be available on the world’s most popular vehicle, the Toyota Corolla, as well as on Mazda sedans and SUVs. Subaru also announced that it will install a Level 2 unmanned system that will operate at speeds up to 50 km/h.