What is Lexus Teammate?

Beverly Braga | Jul 09, 2020

Lexus Teammate is an all-new advanced driving assistance technology, and the Japanese luxury brand’s first true foray into the realm of semi-autonomous driving. Beyond using radar, lidar, sensors, and cameras, Lexus Teammate also utilizes artificial intelligence to learn a driver’s habits and road conditions. This machine learning, coupled with other vehicle performance data, helps the system predict and react to a multitude of driving situations and environments. 

Lexus Teammate Advanced Drive

Although its purpose is to provide an extra layer of safety and peace of mind during the driving experience, as with many advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS), Lexus Teammate will complement comfort and convenience factors as well.

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The use of “Teammate” in the name of this Lexus technology is no accident. Since the 1990s, parent company Toyota Motor Corporation has focused its active safety and ADAS toward reaching an ultimate goal: zero traffic fatalities. Based on the idea that people and vehicles can work together in a mutually beneficial way, the company developed its Mobility Teammate Concept. The overall idea focuses on a two-pronged “Guardian” and “Chauffeur” approach.

In Guardian mode, ADAS takes the role of a watchful eye while allowing the driver full vehicle control. However, the system will intervene should it sense a potential crash. This encompasses safety features like lane keeping assistance and automatic front or rear braking. 

In Chauffer mode, the driver relinquishes all driving responsibility to the vehicle. While Lexus Teammate doesn’t quite fulfill the role of a Level 5 self-driving vehicle (not yet, and no automaker does), the new technology does incorporate automated features like Advanced Drive and Advanced Park, and also leaves room for future software updates.

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Lexus doesn’t yet go into detail to identify specific systems that are involved, but Advanced Drive offers the capabilities of adaptive cruise control, automatic stop-and-go, lane keeping assistance, lane centering assistance, lane changing assistance, and automated passing. Advanced Drive prioritizes safety over convenience and offers hands-free driving by managing operation of the vehicle’s accelerator, brakes, and steering. For now, Advanced Drive can only be activated on highways and other pre-approved, vehicle-only roads but still makes long drives less tedious and exhausting.

Advanced Park uses an assortment of onboard cameras and ultrasonic sensors to assist drivers while parking in or exiting a spot. And if needed, the system can operate vehicle controls, including shifting gears, to safely park. A 360-degree bird’s eye view display can pinpoint ideal steering wheel positions while parking to ensure that even the tightest of spaces won’t be abandoned in vain.

Lexus Teammate will debut in the upcoming 2021 Lexus LS due out in Japan later this year. Availability will eventually expand to other global markets, but the company is mum regarding specific timing for the U.S. Nevertheless, the Lexus LS is the flagship vehicle that launched Toyota’s luxury division back in 1989. North America remains an important market and consumers shouldn’t have to wait long to enjoy the latest Lexus technology.

The information in this article is from Lexus. It was accurate on July 9, 2020 but may have changed since that date.

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