Toyota announces new self-driving test car

On March 3, The Toyota Research Institute (TRI), an R&D center focused on artificial intelligence and based in the US, debuted its newest autonomous driving test car in California.

This test car is an updated and improved model of the autonomous driving car that was first shown to the public at CES 2013, that being a Lexus LS with drive by wire technology included. These improvements are what you might call as soft update, with sensors and the like being changed out.

With a high powered computing power, the car’s ability to recognize its surroundings and perform machine learning have been improved. Also, as it is through that autonomous driving technology will be used even in areas that lack up-to-date, precise mapping, this test vehicle has been given improved sensor functionality through rider, radar, and camera sensors so as to build a better autonomous driving system without relying on map data.

TRI is planning to use this vehicle to collect data via road tests in order to use it for building a completely autonomous driving system and developing advanced driving support systems. TRI’s CEO Gill Pratt commented that “With this test car, we’ll learn about patterns that exhibit while driving. Also, depending on how much data collection and connectivity technology progresses, we will be able to use data we gain from other vehicles as well, and learn even more about this growing field.”

Written by Minoru Moriwaki

(Translated by Bryce Clarke)