The Toyota Research Institute (TRI) revealed its first self-driving automobile last week, a Lexus LS 600hL test car geared up with LIDAR, radar, and camera varieties to allow self-driving without relying too greatly on high-definition maps.
The car is the base for 2 of TRI’s self-driving research courses: Chauffeur and Guardian. Chauffeur is research into Level 4 self-driving, where the vehicle is limited to specific geographical areas like a city or interstates, along with Level 5 autonomy, which would operate anywhere. Guardian is a driver-assist system that keeps track of the environment around the automobile, notifying the driver to possible hazards and stepping in to help with crash avoidance when required.
Toyota believes Guardian’s research will be released quicker than Chauffeur. Comparable tech is readily available in numerous automobiles today in safety functions like Automatic Emergency Braking.
The vehicle is part of a billion-dollar investment Toyota revealed in late 2015 into the TRI, having a mandate to establish AI innovations for autonomous vehicles and robotic helpers for the house. The Institute has its headquarters near Stanford in California and satellite centers near MIT in Massachusetts and the University of Michigan campus in Ann Arbor.