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Lexus has a Tesla Autopilot rival coming this year, report says

No, it's not a self-driving car, but it will steer for you in the right conditions.

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Some lidar and cameras will be packed into these big grilles in the future.

Craig Cole/Roadshow

Repeat after me: There are no self-driving cars on sale today. Not even a Tesla with Autopilot engaged, or a Cadillac running Super Cruise. There will be no self-driving cars on sale next year, either.

What we do have today are a handful of Level 2, partially automated driving systems, based on the SAE scale of autonomy. And this year, Lexus will join that list. According to Automotive News Europe, the Japanese luxury brand plans to reveal its system at some point on a production car this year.

Speaking directly to the Level 2 system was Koji Sato, the brand's president, who said Level 2 is only the beginning. In the future, this system, called Highway Teammate, according to Sato, will boast over-the-air updates to increase the level of automation as technology improves.

Drivers will need to keep their eyes on the road at all times, but the partially automated system will use lidar and cameras to execute lane changes, follow lanes and pass other cars while driving on the highway.

Lexus declined to comment for this story, but we wonder where this system may land first. One of its range-topping sedans or SUVs seems like the best guess, however. Sato did tell the publication Lexus wants the system on each of its vehicles in due time, which likely makes a brand-wide rollout just a matter of time.

Originally published Feb. 11.
Update, Feb. 12: Adds Lexus' decision not to comment for this story.

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