Lexus' flagship sedan, the LS, is finally getting driver-assist technology worthy of its status. All-wheel drive versions of the 2022 Lexus LS 500h will be available with a new system called Lexus Teammate when the sedan arrives in dealerships this fall, Lexus said in a press release Thursday.
Teammate corresponds to Level 2 on the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) vehicle-automation scale. That means if offers a high level of driver assistance, but still requires an attentive driver at all times. There are no self-driving cars on sale today, and this system is well below that threshold.
Teammate, which won't be available on rear-wheel drive versions of the LS 500h or the non-hybrid LS 500 model, will launch with two main functions: Advanced Drive and Advanced Park. Lexus didn't explain why only the hybrid gets the system.
2022 Lexus LS 500h with Lexus Teammate
Advanced Drive will allow the car to accelerate, brake, and steer to keep itself centered in its lane and maintain a safe distance from other cars on limited-access highways. It will also be able to negotiate lane changes, navigate certain interchanges, and operate in traffic jams, Lexus said. The automaker calls it "partial hands-free, eyes-on-the-road operation."
Advanced Park will control steering, acceleration, braking, and shifting into forward or reverse when parallel parking or backing into a parking space. Cameras and ultrasonic sensors will provide a bird's-eye-view display so the driver can check the vehicle's position, Lexus said. No details were provided on the sensor suite, but cutouts in the front fenders and front bumper indicate placement of additional sensors, likely radar.
Pricing and other information on Lexus Teammate will be detailed closer to the 2022 LS 500h's launch this fall. Note that the LS just got a refresh for the 2021 model year.