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Toyota Motor Corporation unveils new Lexus and Meri models in Japan

Toyota Motor Corporation unveils new Lexus and Meri models in Japan

Last Thursday, Toyota Motor Corporation unveiled new models from Lexus and Meri in Japan, equipped with advanced driver assistance systems, as competition intensifies to develop more autonomous and connected cars.

Toyota’s latest launch comes as automakers, startups in electric cars, and tech giants are investing heavily in so-called active safety features.

The Japanese carmaker’s new advanced driver assistance systems technology, or Advanced Drive, features an autonomous Level 2 system that helps driving, such as restricting the car in its lane, maintaining distance with other vehicles and changing lanes under the driver’s supervision on highways or other cars on the roads.

The Lexus LS luxury sedan will go on sale starting Thursday, with a cost of around 163 million yen (148,627$ 70) and 179 million yen, while the second generation of the hydrogen fuel cell Mirai will go on sale on April 12, at a price of 84 million and 86 million yenJames Kovner, Toyota CEO, who is also head of Toyota’s Woven Planet Research Unit, said the new models are the first Toyota products to hit the market that provide over-the-air updates and use AI technology that focuses on deep learning.

“This is really an important first step in our journey towards developing software first,” he said in an online briefing on Thursday, adding that the company had tried to design the program to be truly global and to provide for potential reuse.

In the future, software features in cars will be “upgradeable” and “more customizable”, Kovner added, such as the way people customize their smartphones.

Self-driving cars might still be years away, but rival General Motors early this year scored a hit at the hypothetical CES with Cadillac’s all-electric concept, while Chinese search engine operator Baidu unveiled a partnership car.

With the domestic car brand GeelyHonda Motor Co.

, Toyota’s domestic competitor, last month unveiled a partially self-driving Legend sedan in Japan, becoming the first car manufacturer in the world to sell a car equipped with new, certified Level III automation technology

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Toyota Motor Corporation unveils new Lexus and Meri models in Japan
Toyota Motor Corporation unveils new Lexus and Meri models in Japan