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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

Food delivery "ghost kitchens" face major obstacles

Photo: Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto via Getty Images

The growing popularity of food delivery has given rise to startups that open "ghost kitchens" — kitchens in warehouses or trailers that prepare food solely for delivery and have no option to dine in.

  • But they can come with a whole host of problems.

The big picture: The concept of "ghost kitchens" has been dubbed the next big thing in the future of services, with high profile backers like Uber founder Travis Kalanick. But these kitchens can be hard to run or unsafe.

3 hours ago - Health

Federal judge blocks Biden vaccine mandate for health workers

President Biden delivers remarks on the Omicron COVID-19 variant at the White House on Nov. 29. Photo: Anna Moneymaker via Getty Images

A federal judge on Tuesday blocked the Biden administration from enforcing a coronavirus vaccine mandate for health care workers at federally funded facilities nationwide.

The big picture: The order comes one day after a federal judge in Missouri halted the mandate, which has a Jan. 4 deadline, in 10 states.

CNN suspends Chris Cuomo indefinitely

Chris Cuomo in 2019. Photo: Theo Wargo/Getty Images for THR

CNN announced Tuesday evening that it has suspended anchor Chris Cuomo indefinitely following new revelations about his involvement in the management of his brother's sexual harassment scandal.

Driving the news: New documents released Monday showed that Cuomo used his contacts to garner information about the women accusing his brother, former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, of sexual harassment, as well as of emerging media coverage relating to the scandal.