For the first time, the Toyota Research Institute develops an autonomous vehicle entirely on its own, displaying the car during the Prius Challenge Event at the Sonoma Raceway at the end of last week.

TRI CEO Gill Pratt:

This new advanced safety research vehicle is the first autonomous testing platform developed entirely by TRI, and reflects the rapid progress of our autonomous driving program

There’s a lot to look forward to when it comes to self-driving vehicles, and TRI continues to be on the forefront of this exciting technology which seeks to revolutionize motoring as we know it. Toyota Research Institute started developing this technology back in 2005 and are considered experts in this nascent field.

This all-new test car is built on the current generation flagship luxury sedan, the Lexus LS 600hL. With a slew of patents behind them, this second generation (2.0) of smart vehicle boasts a list of technological advances which allows researchers to gather valuable data, through machine learning and machine vision, Light Detection and Ranging(LIDAR) along with advanced sensors.

Toyota Research Institute New Autonomous test car Lexus LS 460

Utilizing this system, Toyota’s autonomous vehicle learns by gathering data from other connected cars, and by also studying a daily drivers habits. This system is also designed to be easily upgradeable and expandable allowing researchers to push the upper limits of what is possible.

The big question for the rest of us drivers, is how ready are we for robot cars? Major automotive manufacturers such as Toyota, BMW, Tesla, and others are betting big on such vehicles. Even the search engine giant Google is working on its own solution in this tightening market.

Huge sums of money are allocated by these car makers in developing autonomous systems which are not only safe but reliable. This level of artificial intelligence is coming in the near future and may be as commonplace as regular vehicles. So ready or not, they are coming.



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