A year and a half ago, Toyota announced that it would invest $1 billion into a new entity called the Toyota Research Institute (TRI).
And then…nothing else, really.
TRI has been pretty quiet for 18 months.
A few days ago, though, they broke their silence with a private track demonstration in Sonoma.
The platform is the second generation of the advanced safety research vehicle revealed to the public by Toyota at the 2013 Consumer Electronics Show. It is built on a current generation Lexus LS 600hL, which features a robust drive-by-wire interface. The 2.0 is designed to be a flexible, plug-and-play test platform that can be upgraded continuously and often. Its technology stack will be used to develop both of TRI’s core research paths: Chauffeur and Guardian systems.
Chauffeur refers to the always deployed, fully autonomous system classified by SAE as unrestricted Level 5 autonomy and Level 4 restricted and geo-fenced operation.
Guardian is a high-level driver assist system, constantly monitoring the driving environment inside and outside the vehicle, ready to alert the driver of potential dangers and stepping in when needed to assist in crash avoidance.
I’m excited to see Toyota share more of what they’re doing.
This is the world’s largest auto manufacturer, and I assume they will bring their A-game to the table.