A new Lexus model is always cause for celebration at Keyes Lexus. We confess to being a little disappointed this time, since we won’t be able to offer the Advanced Active Safety Research Vehicle (AASRV) to the customers we serve in Glendale and Los Angeles. Obscure though it may be, it could also be the most important Lexus vehicle on the road right now.

The AASRV is the first major project from the Toyota Research Institute (TRI). Our sister company used a Lexus LS600hL as the test bed for a host of new technology. This is actually the second-generation AASRV. The first, which was also based on a Lexus LS, was introduced in 2013.

The second-generation model uses much of the same technology as the 2013 version, including HD cameras, LIDAR, and several proprietary technologies. What’s different is that this time the underlying technology is more refined, it’s smaller and less obtrusive, and it’s also modular, so as existing tech evolves or is replaced by new gadgets, they can be swapped out easily.

The AASRV is being used to test two distinct services. One, called Guardian, is a semi-autonomous driver assistance system. The other, called Chauffer, contributes to the ongoing research into fully-autonomous vehicles.

If that seems futuristic, it is… and it’s not. After all, the research from the first-generation AASRV is in new Lexus cars available now at Keyes Lexus in the form of active safety features. The lane departure warning, cross-traffic alert, autonomous braking, and other features that have contributed to keeping passengers safe all owe their existence or continued improvement to one futuristic car on a secluded test track.

If you live in Glendale or Los Angeles, you can see the benefits of that research in person. Visit Keyes Lexus at 5905 Van Nuys Blvd. in Van Nuys, CA.