Toyota Automated Driving: The Guardian and Chauffeur approaches

Mobility "e-Palette" and automated driving research vehicle Platform 3.0 announced at CES 2018



Automated driving EV mobility "e-Palette"
 (Exhibited at CES 2018)

This report outlines how Toyota approaches automated driving development and is based on a seminar lecture entitled "Toyota's AD Technology Development and Challenges" given by Mr. Yoshiaki Matsuo, Project General Manager of Toyota's Advanced Safety System Research and Development Division at the 10th annual Automotive World event held in January 2018, as well as the "Automated Driving at Toyota" white paper released in September 2017 and announcements made at CES 2018.

Toyota is developing automated driving systems by following two approaches; Guardian and Chauffeur. Guardian is an advanced safety driver-assistance system that monitors the vehicle interior and external environment to intervene or take control of the vehicle in the event of an emergency.

Chauffeur is an automated driving system aimed at achieving automated driving at the SAE levels of Level 5 fully automated and Level 4 conditional automated driving. Toyota is taking a unique approach in that the Guardian system, which provides advanced driving assistance, has the same hardware, software, and advanced AI technology as the fully autonomous Chauffeur system.

The Guardian system can be adopted earlier and more widely than the Chauffeur system, with Toyota seeking to reduce the number of collisions and save as many lives as possible today, rather than wait for the future. The Lexus Safety System + A, an advanced driver-assistance technology package that will also contribute to the development of automated driving, was equipped on the new Lexus LS released in October 2017, but more advanced safety technologies will be developed and adopted sequentially for Guardian.

In addition, the Chauffeur system will have the features of Guardian to act as a safety net.

At the CES 2018, Toyota announced the "e-Palette" EV concept vehicle as the next generation of purpose-built EVs for mobility services with automated driving by the Chauffeur system. Toyota hopes to contribute to the success of Tokyo Olympic Games in 2020 by providing mobility solutions, such as the e-Palette.

At the CES 2018 Toyota also announced its new automated driving research vehicle, Platform 3.0. With four high-resolution scanning heads, the LiDAR system has a range of 200 meters covering 360-degrees around a vehicle. The Platform 3.0 vehicle's array of highly advanced sensory components was packaged in the rooftop cover with a compact and attractive design.

Toyota is currently developing privately-owned automated vehicles in parallel with vehicles for mobility services. Vehicles for mobile services such as the e-Palette will be controlled with the Chauffeur system. Toyota is aiming to develop fully automated vehicles in the future through the evolution of technologies at Levels 2 and 3. It is believed that Toyota will offer vehicles for private owners that can be driven in either fully automated or manual driving modes, such as the dual functionality seen in the Toyota Concept-i series exhibited at the CES 2018 and the Tokyo Motor Show 2017 (the details of which have not been announced).

In the section of Toyota's white paper entitled "how Toyota approaches automated driving development", there is a passage noting that, while Toyota may be at the forefront of industry in its automated driving technology development, it is being extremely cautious with regards to "driver capability" and "driving environment difficulty" considerations. The end of this report includes a section summarizing what seems to reflect the characteristics of Toyota's automated driving development philosophy.

Development scenarios for automated driving technology:

Level Overview
Lexus CoDrive
Lv2 Advanced driver-assistance technology. Driver assistance is carried out seamlessly by steering support in line with the intentions of the driver, such as on motor-vehicle-only roadways with many curves.
Highway Teammate
Lv2- Automated driving on motor-vehicle-only roadways. This assumes single direction driving and simple road shapes.
Urban Teammate
Lv2-Lv4 Fully automated driving on motor-vehicle-only roadways.
Automated driving on ordinary roads. This entails driving conditions with many intersections, traffic signals, signs, pedestrians, and motorcycles.
(20XX) Lv5 Fully automated driving on all roads.

(Source: Toyota)

Related Report:
Toyota's autonomous driving (1): More sophisticated ADAS and fully autonomous driving (Feb. 2017)
Toyota's autonomous driving (2): Striving for "trillion-mile reliability" (Mar. 2017)
Tokyo Motor Show 2017: Toyota unveils numerous concept vehicles (Nov. 2017)

This report is for paid members only. Remaining 4 chapters remaining.
Free membership registration allows you to read the rest of the article for a limited time.