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Toyota Shows Off Latest Autonomous Tech

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Toyota's Autonomous Research Vehicle

In a new video, Toyota has made the first demonstration of its Guardian and Chauffeur autonomous vehicle platform. The video shows the advances that the Toyota Research Institute have made with its research vehicle, which is running on what the automaker calls Platform 2.1.

“Today, you’re going to see four different demonstrations,” says Dr. Gill Pratt, CEO of TRI, at the opening of the video. “The first two are going to be in Chauffeur mode. The other two demonstrations are going to be in Guardian mode.”

Chauffeur is what we would traditionally think of as self-driving technology. While the car is in Chauffer mode, the system is responsible for all driving tasks. In the video, the car is shown to be driving itself around road obstacles on a closed course and in several different scenarios while having impressive knowledge of its surroundings. It can detect unexpected objects and make safe lane changes to avoid them.


Related: Toyota adds child models to its safety testing software


The Guardian system, on the other hand, lets a driver take control behind the wheel and is more akin to a spruced-up suite of active safety technologies similar to what you can already find on modern high-end luxury cars. The system can take action if the driver doesn’t react to a hazardous situation and even monitor the driver’s eyes for distracted or drowsy driving.

Part of Platform 2.1’s step forward is the new high-fidelity LIDAR system provided by Luminar, which has a longer sensing range and better ability to detect the position of three-dimensional objects. It also has a dynamically configurable field of view, allowing the system to focus on the areas where it needs sensing the most.


Related: Toyota Safety Sense is one of the industry’s top active safety technology suites