If you’re already a Japanese car devotee looking to someday advance into the technological future with a self-driving vehicle, then you’re in luck. In March, Toyota announced plans for a $2.8 billion investment into the research and development of autonomous cars, CNN reported. The push would start with 300 employees and slowly increase to 1,000 in an effort to make the most effective and efficient driving software. The organization’s headquarters will be in Tokyo, according to Bloomberg. Part of a larger industry-wide push towards self-driving cars, this represents an exciting shift. Self-driving cars will free up valuable time that drivers can instead use doing other things and, once the technology has matured, they could even make driving safer by removing the potential for human error.
The best compact cars and SUVs are often Japanese, and Japanese cars tend to be more durable. According to a recent survey about cars aged 3 to 10 years, Japanese brands (including Honda and Toyota) claimed 7 of the top 10 spots for most reliable vehicles. What’s more, Toyota auto repair is fairly straightforward in many cases. That means that even if you do experience issues, in spite of your regular Toyota maintenance, there are bound to be reliable Toyota mechanics in your area.
Toyota leads the auto industry in manufacturing quality with its Toyota Production System on its assembly lines. The system requires workers to shut down production when they spot an error rather than waiting to fix it later. Toyota plans to apply the same principles toward developing its self-driving car software. In the past, most companies have had teams of programmers working separately on self-driving car software. They’d then spend copious amounts of time to combine their work — an inefficient and arduous process. Toyota, demonstrating a similar view as the one shown in its assembly-line process, plans to have programmers work on pieces of code, which would create functional chunks of software that build upon each other and bypass the inefficiency of joining disparate pieces of code.
This means Toyota’s self-driving cars will be made with the same level of care and attention to detail inherent to all of the manufacturer’s cars, so you will be able to feel safe traveling in your autonomous Toyota. The new technology does not mean you’ll be calling up your Toyota mechanic more often. In fact, Toyota’s new safety features can even predict accidents before they happen, so you can trust that the company’s future self-driving fleet will come loaded with these amenities and more.
Self-driving cars will not be available for widespread use until 2020 at the earliest, as the technology still has not yet been perfected. However, when self-driving cars replace the ones we drive now, their need for frequent service will not go away. For any machine — autonomous or not — repeated use causes wear and tear, so you will still need periodic checkups to diagnose issues before they evolve into costly repairs. Fortunately for you, if you transition to a self-driving Toyota, LexService and their team of honest Toyota mechanics will still be there to provide quality maintenance and repairs at competitive rates. If you’re eyeing a self-driving car and live in the Los Angeles, Torrance, or Artesia areas, you know where to go for your Toyota maintenance needs.