schwit1 shares a report from Car and Driver: Toyota has not yet decided whether it will bring a car to market that is capable of automated driving in some situations yet still requires a human driver behind a wheel who can take control if needed — but the automaker, characteristically, is more cautious than many about moving forward with the technology. Citing safety concerns regarding the handoff between self-driving technology and human driver, Kiyotaka Ise, Toyota’s chief safety technology officer, said the biggest issue with these kinds of systems is that “there is a limbo for several seconds between machine and human” in incidents when a car prompts a human to retake control if it cannot handle operations. These kinds of systems, defined as Level 3 autonomy by SAE, have divided automakers and tech companies in their approaches to developing cars for the self-driving future. As opposed to Level 2 systems, like Tesla Motors’ Autopilot, in which a human driver is expected to keep his or her eyes and attention on the road while a system conducts most aspects of the driving, Level 3 is characterized by the system’s claiming responsibility for the driving task when it is enabled. Although Toyota assures us that its researchers are hard at work figuring out the challenges of Level 3 autonomy, it seems like the company could eventually join others moving directly from its current Level 2 system to a Level 4 system. Given the self-driving race has been on for a while, this could put Toyota at a competitive disadvantage, but it’s clear engineers at the company care more about getting things right than they do about being first.
Read more of this story at Slashdot.