January 8, 2013
LAS VEGAS, NV– Toyota Motor Corporation and its Lexus Division unveiled its advanced active safety research vehicle for the first time at the International CES today to demonstrate ongoing efforts around autonomous vehicle safety technologies and explain Toyota’s approach to reducing global traffic fatalities and injuries. The vehicle, based on a Lexus LS, advances the industry toward a new era of integrated safety management technologies.
The company’s guiding strategy, called the Integrated Safety Management Concept, views traffic safety as a holistic blend of people, vehicles and the driving environment. The strategy carries through all five phases of operation:
- Initial time the driver and car begin a journey from a parked position
- Active safety systems designed to avoid a crash
- Pre-crash aimed at preparing for a collision
- Passive safety to help survive a crash
- Rescue and response after a crash has occurred
While key components of these research efforts could lead to a fully autonomous car in the future, the vision is not a car that drives itself. Instead, Toyota and Lexus envision technologies that enhance the skills of the driver, believing a more skillful driver is a safer driver.
The Lexus advanced active safety research vehicle is equipped with an array of sensors and automated control systems to observe, process and respond to the vehicle’s surroundings. These include GPS, stereo cameras, radar and Light Detection and Ranging (LIDAR) laser tracking.
The vehicle systems are capable of tasks such as scanning movement of objects around it, identifying a green light from a red light and measuring the trajectory of the vehicle on the road.
- A 360-degree LIDAR laser on the roof of the vehicle detects objects around the car up to about 70 meters.
- Three high definition color cameras detect objects about 150 meters away, including traffic light detection using the front camera and approaching vehicles using the side cameras.
- Radars on the front and sides of the vehicle measure the location and speed of objects to create a comprehensive field of vision at intersections.
- A distance measurement indicator located on a rear wheel measures travel distance and speed of the vehicle.
- An inertial measurements unit on the roof measures acceleration and angle changes to determine vehicle behaviour.
- GPS antennas on the roof estimate angle and orientation even before the vehicle is in motion.
The research vehicle is a testing platform aimed at the development of systems capable of enhancing the driver’s perception of their environment, assisting in the decision-making process and improving overall driving skills.