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Autonomous Toyota Prius Gives Test Rides At 2011 Tokyo Show

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2012 Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid

2012 Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid

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Unless you're a rich businessman or lazy teenager, you probably see cars as objects to drive, rather than be chauffeured in.

A Toyota Prius available to test at the upcoming Tokyo Motor Show might make people think a little differently, as an example of the hybrid will be giving show-goers rides around entirely autonomously, says Popular Science.

Toyota has been working on its autonomous technology for some time now and the Prius at the Tokyo show will be a very public demonstration of how the technology is progressing.

Known as the AVOS (Automatic Vehicle Operating System) the Prius can be summoned by its "driver", avoid obstacles in front of it, and park itself.

Behind the scenes Toyota is still working on the technology, which will eventually include vehicle-to-vehicle technology to let it communicate with other cars, and systems to communicate with other integrated systems down the line, such as traffic signals and automatically adapting to speed limits.

The technology is improving all the time, with everyone from Google through BMW to Volkswagen working on autonomous cars.

So even if you can't afford the lifestyle of a rich entrepreneur, or have more to do than loiter with friends at the mall, you'll be able to experience the chauffeur-driven feeling very soon.

The 2011 Tokyo Auto Show opens to the public on December 3.
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