It's not just electric cars that Toyota wants to catch up with. The world's leading carmaker in terms of car sales is also working hard on the driver assistance front and has indicated that it will launch an advanced autonomous driving vehicle in China as early as next year.

By 2025 you'll be seeing a car on the roads of the Land of the Dragon equipped with technology similar to the much-talked-about Full Self-Driving from Tesla. The car in question will not be produced directly by Toyota, but by the joint venture that the Japanese company has with state-owned manufacturer Guangzhou Automobile Group: GAC-Toyota.

Starting with an SUV

The first model to be equipped with this new driver assistance technology will be an SUV called Bozhi 3X. It will be capable of travelling without driver intervention on the motorway and will also be able to independently handle many typical urban situations. It will also be able to park itself, reaching the designated area without the driver being on board.

Toyota Kenshiki Forum 2023, all the news

Toyota presents the electric innovations of the future at the Kenshiki forum

The software behind this new technology will be developed by start-up Momenta Global, which has already attracted the attention of a number of carmakers, including Mercedes. GAC Toyota is also working with Huawei to start using the operating system developed by the Chinese consumer electronics giant in its cars. Once again, the commercial launch of this new digital platform is scheduled for 2025.

This will cut costs by 40

The announcement of this new autonomous driving technology was made at a conference held last week in Guangzhou, at which innovation in general was discussed.

Among the innovations announced was a new battery based on lithium iron phosphate (LFP), which will be ready by 2026 or 2027 at the latest, and which will reduce the production costs of an electric car by around 40%. In any case, compared with what Toyota is currently spending on the bZ4X.

Gallery: Toyota bZ Sport Crossover and FlexSpace Concept