Toyota Research Institute’s P4 vehicle testing two-track automated driving system development
Autonomous Vehicle Technology announces 2020 ACES Award Winner in Autonomy | Vehicles category
At CES 2019, Toyota Research Institute (TRI) introduced its P4 automated driving test vehicle based on the new Lexus LS flagship sedan. Significantly, it is being used to accelerate a two-track program for TRI’s Guardian and Chauffeur automated driving system development, joining its fleet in the spring. Chauffeur development is focused on full autonomy where the human is essentially removed from the driving equation, either completely in all environments or within a restricted driving domain. Guardian is more driver-assistance focused, amplifying human performance behind the wheel, not replacing it. Compared with its predecessor, the P4 benefits from Lexus’ new generation of chassis- and steering-control technology. It has two additional cameras to improve situational awareness on the sides and two new imaging sensors—one facing forward and one pointed to the rear—specifically designed for autonomy. The imaging sensors feature new chip technology with high dynamic range. The radar system is optimized to improve field of view, especially for close-range detection around the vehicle perimeter. The LiDAR sensing system with eight scanning heads carries over from the previous test model. The P4 is also a much smarter research vehicle than its predecessor; with greater computing power, its systems can operate more machine-learning algorithms in parallel for faster learning. In October, TRI announced that the P4 will be available for public rides next summer in Tokyo, demonstrating Toyota’s Chauffeur SAE Level 4 capabilities in a mobility as a service driving environment.
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