Toyota's autonomous driving (1): More sophisticated ADAS and fully autonomous driving

The OEM unveils the Toyota Concept-i



TOYOTA Concept-i
TOYOTA Concept-i exhibited at 2017 International CES

  The Automotive World 2017 Conference was held at Tokyo Big Sight from January 18, 2017, to January 20. This report will describe the direction of Toyota's long-term goal for autonomous driving. It will focus on a lecture given by Yoshiaki Matsuo, chief examiner of the Advanced Safety System Research and Development Division at Toyota Motor Corporation titled, "Toyota's Direction of Automatic Driving and Future Issues - Cooperation between Intelligent Vehicles and People, and the Realization of a Mobility Society;" and also examine Toyota's efforts for autonomous driving.

  Under its "Mobility Teammate Concept," Toyota is aiming for autonomous driving that enables cooperation between humans and automobiles. While many OEMs are skipping implementation of level 3 autonomous driving, where both the system and driver perform operation, and aim for higher levels of autonomous driving, Toyota will realize level 3 autonomous driving with advanced artificial intelligence (AI) and a human machine interface (HMI), and will strive to achieve level 4 and 5 autonomous driving through advancements in AI technology.

  The Toyota Research Institute (TRI), which researches AI, is currently working on 2 approaches to autonomous driving: "Level 4 and level 5 fully autonomous driving (referred to as a 'chauffeur')," and "autonomous driving through advanced driving support systems (referred to as a 'guardian')." The driving support (guardian) system will also feature AI technology equal to the Concept-i (details below), and gradually increase in intelligence. Toyota believes that enhancing this aspect to create a smart AI is the most effective path to achieving fully autonomous driving.

  Additionally, at the 2017 International CES, Toyota unveiled the Toyota Concept-i, the embodiment of the OEM's vision for future mobility. The latest advances in AI have been applied to the concept to establish a composite technology for understanding humans, such as recognizing emotions and learning driver preferences. The concept will provide a novel experience based on new ideas, under the umbrella of safety and security for humans and the Fun to Drive concept. The AI will also support human drivers in making decisions to switch between autonomous and manual driving. The Concept-I is Toyota's long-term goal, and test vehicles are scheduled to start driving in Japanese cities in the next few years.

Related Report: Toyota's ADAS technology: Autonomous Vehicle and ADAS Japan 2016 (1) (August 2016)