Sci-tech

Tokyo 2017: Lexus LS+ Concept - autonomous luxury

Tokyo 2017: Lexus LS+ Concept - autonomous luxury”

Lexus has whipped the covers off the LS+ Concept at the 2017 Tokyo motor show, providing a peek at how the Japanese marque envisions its luxury flagship of the future.

The latest iteration of the flagship Lexus LS arrived at the start of this year in Detroit as Lexus showcased its challenge to the Mercedes S-Class and BMW 7 Series.

Speaking with CarsGuide at this week's Tokyo motor show, Lexus LS chief engineer Toshio Asahi, confirmed the new Highway Teammate tech is scheduled for a production debut in 2020, and the company's aim is to introduce Urban Teammate tech by 2025.

Future ideas incorporated in the luxury sedan's dramatic design include partly laser-lit head and tail-lights, as well as electronic exterior mirrors.

The most distinctive change is the new spindle grille, which incorporates LED lights and an innovative shutter system that blocks off the small air intakes to improve fuel economy at higher speeds and cooling at lower speeds.

The LS+ Concept showcases the Lexus "Highway Teammate" system that allows the vehicle to self-drive "on specific car-only highways, such as from the on-ramp to the exit of expressways".

Lexus says AI learning will help accelerate the shift to self-driving vehicles on regular roads during the first half of the 2020s. The show vehicle is equipped with upcoming Integrated Safety Management technologies such automated driving which is planned for application in 2020.

In future, "Highway Teammate" will know when the LS is joining a motorway and will offer the driver a raft of technologies to make the drive safer and easier, including automatic lane keeping, merging and overtaking as well as controlling brakes and throttle to keep safe.

Highway Mate has also been created to be updated as new functionality is added, communicating with a central data centre. The artificial intelligence on board, meanwhile, learns from big data, including information on roads and surrounding areas.



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