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Automated Cars May Boost Fuel Use, Toyota Scientist Says

Toyota Motor Corp., among carmakers developing driverless technology, said the appeal of autonomous cars carries the risk of adding to urban sprawl and pollution as they may encourage commuters to travel farther to work.

Technologies that let a driver turn vehicle controls over to the car itself should begin arriving late this decade, said Ken Laberteaux, senior principal scientist for Toyota’s North American team studying future transportation. Faster commutes can bring unintended consequences, Laberteaux said in an interview at the Automated Vehicles Symposium in San Francisco yesterday.