Toyota Builds Mule With 2 Steering Wheels To Test Autonomous Tech

29 September 2017 - motor1

Toyota Builds Mule With 2 Steering Wheels To Test Autonomous Tech

The company believes that drivers and autonomous vehicles should work together.

The Toyota Research Institute spearheads the Japanese automaker's development of cutting edge technology, and in a pair of new videos, the group demonstrates the current state of its progress by running its Platform 2.1 test mule through some tests.

Many governments in the United States require that a human being is able to take control of autonomous vehicles during public testing, and TRI comes up with an interesting solution to this rule – installing redundant controls on the driver and passenger side. By doing so, TRI engineers can put a tester behind the wheel with the piloted systems activated, and a trained person can still be ready to take control in the other seat.

TRI splits its autonomous systems into two groups: Chauffeur and Guardian. Chauffeur mode refers to a vehicle completely able to drive itself. Guardian Mode occurs when autonomous tech works with the driver. In this case, the person behind the wheel has direct control, but the self-driving software constantly monitors the road in case there's a need to take over.

The firm's tests in this video include detecting whether the driver falls asleep and avoiding obstructions in the road. Unfortunately, the evaluations take place at fairly low speeds, which robs some of the impressiveness from the successful results.

The Platform 2.1 test mule features a bounty of cutting-edge hardware. For example, its lidar features longer sensing ranges than conventional tech and can configure the field of view to concentrate the measurements in certain areas.

The video below goes into much further detail about TRI's current endeavors. In addition to working on autonomous tech, the group also focuses on robotics and artificial intelligence. The team has set its goal for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics to debut many of these innovations.

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