Self-driving cars have been making news over the past couple of years. First came Google with its testing of driverless vehicles, then Nissan with its NCS-2015, Audi has become the first carmaker with an autonomous car license in Nevada, and now Toyota with its new autonomous Lexus Advanced Active Safety Research Vehicle, which was unveiled at CES on Monday.

The car, which is built atop a Lexus LS 600 platform, employs tons of tech, including Advanced GPS, radar, laser range-finders and stereo cameras, plus a super-precise odometer and a bunch of accelerometers. But in spite of all of this, and the use of the word "autonomous" by Toyota, the car is still reliant on a human behind the wheel.

The reality is that this car exists in order to create the smarter cars of the future -- ones that can sense and avoid accidents, not completely drive themselves, according to our friends at Engadget, who spoke with Jim Pisz, Corporate Manager of North American Business Strategy at Toyota.

"Autonomous does not mean driverless ... technology should enhance a driver's skills, but we do believe that the technology is at a state where it can intervene in a case where driver error is absolutely evident," Pisz told Engadget.

So although the Advanced Active Safety Research Vehicle may not be the driverless vehicle of the future you may have been picturing, it's still a pretty interesting view into the car tech to come.

For more on the new autonomous auto, head over to Engadget.