Toyota Camry: How It Changed Cars and Cars Changed People
Toyota introduced the Camry, the world’s first car to be completely autonomous.
The car was a runaway success.
But in the decade after, the company was facing a new crisis: the emergence of self-driving cars.
The new technology is becoming ubiquitous, and cars are increasingly taking the place of trucks and buses.
How do we understand this shift?
To understand how we got here, we need to understand what autonomous vehicles really are, what they can do, and what we can do about it.
A self-propelled vehicle (SPV) in this rendering.
In the early 2000s, the most advanced vehicles of the future would be cars that could drive themselves.
Cars were already being developed to go from point A to point B. They were small, light, and had some driving power.
But they were still a way to get around.
As with any car, the car would also need a steering wheel, pedals, and a lot of internal combustion engine power to get to the destination.
But unlike a truck, a car wouldn’t need a power plant.
It could also drive itself in some other way.
“You might say that a car is autonomous when it’s self-sustaining,” says John Mueller, a professor of mechanical engineering at the University of Michigan.
The vehicle uses sensors to keep itself moving, and computers to drive it.
When a car goes into a garage, the sensors pick up on the electric current that is coming from the battery.
If that current carries the vehicle away from the garage, it could be a safety issue.
But when it leaves the garage — or goes on to another parking spot — it could also be a problem.
“It could be the car has a problem that is not apparent to the driver, but if it’s a safe and secure parking spot, it’s okay,” Mueller says.
In some cases, a vehicle could simply need to slow down.
In other cases, it might need to have a second set of brakes applied to slow the vehicle down.
The autonomous vehicle can also take a few different routes.
Some cars can drive autonomously on highways, where the roads are clear of pedestrians and cyclists.
Cars on the other hand, need to negotiate the roads in their own way, and that requires some judgment about how fast they can go.
Mueller says some cars could drive on sidewalks and crosswalks.
“They might have a lane or a crossing where the car can cross,” Mueller explains.
“But that’s a really rare situation.”
Mueller says the car could also operate on roads with heavy traffic.
“If there’s lots of people and lots of accidents, then that might be the case,” he says.
“However, if the car is really efficient, then it could still take that lane and not get into a collision.”
The vehicle has some other features, too.
The most important is the driver.
Automakers have come up with many different ways to make cars more comfortable.
Some vehicles now have seat belts that help prevent the car from hitting the floor or any other object.
The seats also have sensors to let drivers know if they are about to bump into a wall.
The steering wheel also has sensors that let drivers adjust the speed and direction of the vehicle.
And the car’s electronics also have a lot to do with how the car handles the road.
“We’ve come to think of the car as a living thing that’s going to behave autonomously,” Mueller said.
“What we’re now looking at is an electronic system that is a lot more sophisticated and more connected than we’ve ever imagined.”
The car’s steering wheel.
A lot of sensors are built into the steering wheel to give it feedback.
When the car senses that the driver is looking at it, it can change its speed, speed along the road, and turn itself to face the driver when it sees him.
“There are sensors all around the steering wheels,” Mueller explained.
“And all the way down to the tires.
And then the pedals.
And also, of course, the pedals themselves.”
The sensors help the car respond to the vehicle’s inputs.
“These sensors tell the car what kind of speed to get, how fast to turn, and where to go,” Mueller continued.
“So the vehicle doesn’t just know how fast it’s going.
It also knows when to change its course, and when it has to go.”
The sensor on the steering Wheel.
The sensors also let the car know when the driver’s eyes are on it.
“In order to do that, the system has to understand how the driver moves his head,” Mueller points out.
“That’s where the eyes are.
And that’s where there are some kind of eyes in the steering system.
That’s where that is connected to the other systems, too.”
Mueller believes that the car uses these sensors to provide a lot in terms of safety.
“The way it handles road conditions is going to be far better than the way it handled other conditions