Product Reviews
Take Action

Save Net Neutrality

Preserve an open internet where you can access websites without barriers. Make your voice heard by standing up for net neutrality.
Take Action
Why Do We Have Campaigns?
We're fighting to ensure you and your family can get a fair deal in the marketplace, especially on the choices that matter most: health care, privacy, automobiles, food, finances and more. Join our campaigns and together, we'll hold corporations and lawmakers accountable.

CES 2013: Autonomous Lexus LS shows how smarter cars can be safer

Consumer Reports News: January 07, 2013 02:08 PM

Toyota presented an autonomous safety car today in Las Vegas, based on the Lexus LS, that demonstrates how today's technology can advance safety.

While dubbed an "autonomous" car, Toyota explains that its approach is to enhance safety, rather than replace the driver. A top-rated luxury sedan, the LS offers a wide array of safety features in regular production trim, including lane assist, blind-spot monitoring, active cruise control, and pre-collision systems. (See our Lexus LS road test.)

For this research vehicle, Toyota engineers have augmented the existing safety features with ability to monitor the environment, and potential hazards, in greater detail.

This LS monitors its surroundings using a roof-mounted, 360-degree laser tracking system and three high-definition cameras. With these devices, the car can detect traffic approaching from all angles and determine the color of traffic lights.

Added to these systems are additional GPS antenna for more directional information and an accelerometer for tracking motion, such as pitch and yaw.

Combined, these systems deliver to the driver much more information about the world than a basic car can, while having the ability to prepare for evasive maneuvers, intercede to avoid a collision, or even brace for impact.

Like other automakers, Toyota is also researching smart infrastructure technologies that allow vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure communication. There may be a day on the horizon when a consumer-owned car could handle the commuting chores, while the driver relaxes, but for now, there is something comforting about even the mindset that the technology is there to aid the driver, rather than replace the driver.

See our complete CES 2013 coverage.

Learn more about car safety, and read our report on smarter, safer cars.

Jeff Bartlett

E-mail Newsletters

FREE e-mail Newsletters! Choose from cars, safety, health, and more!
Already signed-up?
Manage your newsletters here too.

Safety News


Cars Build & Buy Car Buying Service
Save thousands off MSRP with upfront dealer pricing information and a transparent car buying experience.

See your savings


Mobile Get Ratings on the go and compare
while you shop

Learn more