Nov 21, 2018

What we're driving: The 2019 Toyota Avalon

2019 Toyota Avalon. Photo: Toyota

This week I'm driving the 2019 Toyota Avalon, the fifth generation of Toyota's flagship sedan. With aggressive new styling, a roomy interior and a big 10-inch infotainment screen, it looks and feels as upscale as its premium cousin, the Lexus ES.

The car is packed with advanced driver-assist technology. Standard features include blind-spot monitoring, lane-departure warning system that guides you back to center, adaptive cruise control, forward-collision warning with automatic emergency braking and rear cross-traffic alert.

  • For $1,150 extra, you can add an advanced safety package that includes a birds-eye camera system with sonar parking sensors and rear cross-traffic braking support.

What's next: Toyota has a different approach to future autonomy than most. It's pursuing two modes: "chauffeur" and "guardian."

  • Chauffeur is exactly what you think: full self-driving capability (think levels 4 and 5 under SAE autonomy definitions.)
  • Guardian would employ the same sensing technology to assess whether the driver is about to make a dangerous mistake and intervene if necessary. Think of Guardian as a friendly backseat driver.
"Imagine going through an intersection and you're going to get T-boned — the right thing for the car to do is accelerate you out of it."
— Ryan Eustice, VP of autonomous driving at Toyota Research Institute, tells Business Insider

Go deeper

Maryland becomes latest state to issue coronavirus stay-at-home order

Gov. Larry Hogan. Photo: Jim Spellman/Getty Images

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan announced Monday he is ordering residents to stay at home effective 8 p.m. due to the coronavirus, except for those engaged in essential services, including health care and government functions.

The big picture: Maryland is the latest state to announce policies to enforce social distancing, which have affected almost 250 million Americans. More than 1.5 billion people worldwide had been asked to stay home as of last week.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 18 mins ago - Health

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 12 p.m. ET: 741,030 — Total deaths: 35,305 — Total recoveries: 156,838.
  2. U.S.: Leads the world in cases. Total confirmed cases as of 12 p.m. ET: 143,532 — Total deaths: 2,572 — Total recoveries: 4,865.
  3. Federal government latest: The White House will extend its social distancing guidelines until April 30 — Hospital ship the USNS Comfort arrives in Manhattan
  4. Public health updates: — White House COVID-19 response coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx said the 100,000 to 200,000 U.S. coronavirus death toll estimate is based on the presumption that citizens follow social-distancing guidelines "almost perfectly."
  5. Business latest: Macy's will furlough the majority of it's workers this week, as the chain's stores remain closed.
  6. 🎧 Podcast: Living with the coronavirus
  7. What should I do? Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

Subscribe to Mike Allen's Axios AM to follow our coronavirus coverage each morning from your inbox.

Podcast: Living with the coronavirus

Over 143,000 people in the U.S. have now tested positive for the coronavirus. Among them is Axios co-founder and president Roy Schwartz, who joins Dan to discuss his unusual symptoms, his hospital experience and the complications of quarantining with a family.