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Mark Phelan: Lexus' new Teammate hands-free driving feature made me put my hands on the wheel

Mark Phelan, Detroit Free Press on

Published in Automotive News

The new "hands-free" driving system from Lexus isn’t really hands free, but that doesn’t mean the luxury brand’s Teammate driving assistant doesn’t work. It does exactly what Toyota wants it to do. What’s interesting is how different that is from what General Motors, Ford and Tesla expect from their driving assistants.

I was the first "civilian" — meaning not a Toyota employee — in the world to test Teammate on public roads this week, on busy but fast-moving highways near the automaker’s North American HQ in Plano, Texas.

Key elements of Lexus Teammates include:

—Front-facing long range radar

—Front and rear short-range side radar

—Front facing lidar


—360-degree parking cameras

—Front-facing telescope and locator cameras

—High-definition mapping of selected limited access highways in the U.S. and Canada

—Driver facing camera to assure attentiveness


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