Fleet News

Toyota showcases autonomous Lexus LS research vehicle at CES 2019

The Toyota Research Institute (TRI) will introduced its new P4 automated driving test vehicle at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, today.

It is based on the new, fifth generation Lexus LS and will be used by TRI in the development of its twin-track Guardian and Chauffeur automated driving systems.

Ryan Eustice, senior vice president of Automated Driving at TRI, said: “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.

“On the other hand, Guardian is being designed to amplify human performance behind the wheel, not replace it. The introduction of the new P4 platform this spring will help us accelerate the development of both tracks.”

The P4 benefits from Lexus’s new generation of chassis and steering control technology, which is said to provide greater agility and allows for more responsive and smooth manoeuvres during automated driving.

It makes use of two additional cameras to improve situational awareness to either side. There are also two new imaging sensors – one facing forward and one pointed to the rear – specifically designed for use on automated vehicles and featuring new chip technology with high dynamic range.

The radar system has been optimised to improve the field of vision, especially for close range detection around the vehicle perimeter.

Toyota says P4 is a much smarter research vehicle than its predecessor. With greater computing power, its systems can operate more machine learning algorithms in parallel for more rapid learning. It can process sensor inputs faster and react more quickly to the surrounding environment. All computing system power is drawn from the vehicle’s hybrid battery, with the 12v battery now serving only as a back-up resource.

The Toyota Motor North America (TMNA) R&D Development Center in York, Michigan, will begin fabricating P4 vehicles from stock LS vehicles this spring.

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