Toyota Pushes Its Driver Assist System as Rival to Waymo

Experts say Toyota Motor Corp.’s offer to market its Guardian driver assist technology to other carmakers is a bid to set a de facto industry standard for the way future cars operate under human or robotic control.

Toyota says its system, which is still under development, is unlikely to be available until the early 2020s. Guardian is a collection of sensors and software designed to make cars safer whether they are self-driven or piloted by humans. Alphabet Inc.’s Waymo autonomous vehicle company is promoting its own platform for fully robotic vehicles.

Guardian aims to meld the best characteristics of human and computerized driving into what Toyota calls an always-activated “blended envelope control,” Gill Pratt, CEO of the Toyota Research Institute, tells reporters at the CES electronics show in Las Vegas.

Toyota also is developing Chauffeur, a fully autonomous version of Guardian. But the company says viable Level 5 self-driving vehicles are many years away. In the meantime, Pratt declares that Toyota has a “moral obligation” to apply driver assist technology, a precursor to fully robotic controls, as soon as possible.