Toyota is developing a tractor beam system that would allow a vehicle to tow another vehicle without a physical connection.
The system is currently in the testing stages, with two Toyota Sienna minivans communicating through a wireless system that allows one car to follow the other without any input from the driver, Fox News reported.
The “hitchless towing system” contains mainly equipment that is already in today’s vehicles, Toyota said. Only a few new parts would be needed to make the real life tractor beam available to the public.
One of the main remaining obstacles is to develop software for it to operate safely.
The testing has only been conducted with two vehicles at a slow speed and kept at a distance. But Toyota aims to increase the speed and decrease the space between the minivans as the system progresses, including tests on highways in city traffic next year.
Toyota said the system has multiple applications, including several vehicles traveling in a convoy or towing a second vehicle.
There are also commercial applications, such as fleet management and self-towing trailers.
But state and federal regulations would have to be updated to allow for the “tractor beam” system, with preliminary discussions already occurring, according to the auto manufacturer.
(Israel National News' North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Israel National News articles, however, is Israeli time.)