New Lexus flagship equipped with self-driving features

TOKYO - Toyota Motor's new Lexus LS flagship luxury, four-door sedan, unveiled in Japan on June 26, boasts a set of technologies that provide "Level 2" autonomy, although the carmaker is reluctant to call them "self-driving" features.

In announcing the new Lexus LS, Toyota described these features as "advanced driving assist technology that can lead to automated driving."

Toyota's cautiousness about promoting the Lexus LS as a self-driving car reflects the company's focus on safety in its autonomous driving research.

"We don't want our customers to mistakenly believe that the driver doesn't have to do anything or place too much reliance [on the technology]," said Kiyotaka Ise, a Toyota senior managing officer in charge of the development of advanced safety technologies.

The Lexus LS offers three main driver assistance technologies: "radar cruise control" to maintain an appropriate distance from the vehicle running ahead, "lane tracing assist," which is lane-keeping support through steering control, and "lane change assist," which supports lane changes by monitoring the surrounding road environment and controlling steering and the vehicle speed.

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