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Toyota Promises Safest Drive Of The World As It Launches Its New Tech Unit

Toyota Promises Safest Drive Of The World As It Launches Its New Tech Unit
The Japanese car maker Toyota Motor Corp promised to provide the "safest mobility" of the world while unveiling of its Woven Planet research unit at a virtual media event on Friday even as auto and tech companies are rushing to develop self-driving and connected cars which also includes Toyota.
Very few hints of the specific features in the pipeline were provided by Woven Planet executives in the online presentation which was dubbed as "The Genesis". The company however said that by the end of the year, engineers at the company would put up a new assisted driving system on some of the passenger cars currently made by the Japanese company.
While elaborating any further, the company also confirmed that it would have things in place to unveil a prototype of a fully self driving vehicle "in the near future".
In the drive to develop self driving technologies and vehicles, tech companies including the likes of Apple, Amazon and Sony are providing stiff competition to the traditional auto makers. The aim of Toyota to address this competition is to integrate the Silicon Valley approach of the Woven Planet with the storied Toyota Production System manufacturing process to beat the competition and develop and manufacture the next generation of cars.
According to experts and analysis, development of a fully self driving car is still some years away. However Toyota rival US based General Motors Co created news earlier this month at the virtual Consumer Electronics Show when the company unveiled the concept of a fully autonomous and an all electric flying Cadillac. On the other hand at the same event, a partnership with local Chinese car brand Geely was unveiled by the Chinese search engine operator Baidu.
Woven Planet, which is headed by a former Google roboticist James Kuffner, will have the advantage of scale in collecting data which is critical in the development of software that is powered by artificial intelligence as it will have access to and data of tens of millions of Toyota cars on the road all across the world, Woven Planet also said. in 2020, Toyota regained the position of the best selling auto maker of the world by dislodging the German auto major Volkswagen.  
"This is really only the beginning," Kuffner said in a pre-recorded presentation, where he introduced key executives from the Woven Planet Group, including founding family scion Daisuke Toyoda, son of Toyota CEO Akio Toyoda.
"We're just getting started with our technology and innovation to change the world," Kuffner said.
The plans of Toyota to develop a prototype "city of the future" called Woven City at the base of Mount Fuji was unveiled last year by the company. Back then it has said that the city would be powered by hydrogen fuel cells and that city would be a laboratory for autonomous cars.

Christopher J. Mitchell

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