First glimpse of self-driving car ahead of unveiling

The Lexus prototype will be showcased to the world in Las Vegas next week. Credit:

Video of the latest entry into the tech race for driverless cars has been released, with Toyota's computer-controlled Lexus seen travelling on the road, without a human in sight.

Toyota issued the short teaser video of its self-driven car as it and Audi prepare to properly unveil their luxury-range autonomous vehicles to the world.

The five-second clip, which has been posted on Toyota's website, shows a computer-controlled Lexus AASRV travelling along a road, with no driver behind the wheel.

The Toyota prototype is equipped with radar and camera technology to keep it in the correct lane, detect road and traffic signs and - crucially - spot other vehicles.

The Audi vehicle, meanwhile, is apparently even capable of slotting itself into a vacant parking spot.

Web giant Google has led the way in driverless technology, getting a patent in 2011, and opening up talks with US car makers last year on a product it hopes to release within 10 years.

The Japanese and German manufacturers will be introducing their pilot-free cars at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, which begins on Tuesday.

All three companies are hoping to develop into major suppliers of the self-driving vehicles.The technology, though, is geared towards aiding a driver by spotting obstacles or taking control if the person behind the wheel falls asleep.