TOKYO—Toyota Motor Corp. will deploy its most advanced automated driving system to date in a freshened Lexus LS sedan later this year, pitching the setup as a lidar-based Level 2 system that can automatically change lanes and pass other vehicles in highway driving.
The rollout furthers Toyota's bid to catch competitors, especially in the luxury segment, that have been more aggressive in introducing self-driving vehicles.
Last week, Tesla CEO Elon Musk told a technical conference audience that Tesla could have the technology for completely autonomous Level 5 driving within the year. But some in the industry now doubt that auto makers will ever achieve commercially viable, completely autonomous driving.
Toyota, preferring a more conservative approach, has steered clear of labeling its system self-driving or autonomous. Toyota instead calls its systems automated, a nod to the system's reliance on human interaction.
The new technology, marketed as Lexus Teammate, is an outgrowth of the Mobility Teammate concept Toyota has been working on for years.
In a statement last week, Lexus said the new setup will debut in a midcycle freshening of the flagship LS sedan, which also gets new interior flourishes and a smoother, quieter ride.