Toyota Research Institute (TRI) will introduce the TRI-P4 automated driving test vehicle at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES).
The fifth-generation Lexus LS flagship sedan serves as its base, gaining responsiveness and fluidity thanks to the chassis and steering control technology. The P4 will help the development of TRI’s two-track Guardian and Chauffeur automated driving system.
“Our Chauffeur development is focused on full autonomy, where the human is essentially removed from the driving equation, either completely in all environments, or within a restricted driving domain,” says Ryan Eustice, senior vice president of automated driving at TRI. “Guardian, on the other hand, is being designed to amplify human performance behind the wheel, not replace it. The introduction of the new P4 platform will help us accelerate the development of both tracks when it joins our fleet this spring.”
The P4 has a leg up on its predecessor, according to TRI. Two side cameras will increase situational awareness, while the new two image sensors (one forward facing, the other rear facing) were designed specifically with autonomous driving in mind. The image sensors have another feature to write home about—new chip technology with high dynamic range.
P4’s radar system has been revamped with a better field of view, “especially for close range detection around the vehicle perimeter,” according to TRI. “The lidar sensing system with eight scanning heads carries over from the previous test model, Platform 3.0, and morphs into the new vehicle design.”
Additional improvements include greater computing power, faster learning thanks to operating more machine learning algorithms in parallel, enhanced sensor input processing, and quicker reaction time to environmental factors.
According to TRI, “All computing system power is now drawn from the vehicle’s hybrid battery with the 12 V battery now serving only as a backup.”
The brains of the operation is in the car’s trunk, however, it now sits vertically against the rear seat transom, and folds down to access the circuitry. This design change creates more floor space for cargo.
The P4 will make its public debut at Toyota’s CES press conference, which starts at 1:00 p.m. PT, January 7.