Toyota Rolls Out
P4 Automated Driving Test Vehicle at CES
The Toyota Research Institute (TRI) introduced the TRI-P4 automated driving test vehicle on at CES. The P4 is based on the all-new fifth-generation Lexus LS flagship sedan and will be used in TRI’s two-track Guardian and Chauffeur automated driving system development.
“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,” said 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.”
P4 adds two additional cameras to improve situational awareness on the sides and two new imaging sensors – one facing forward and one pointed to the rear – specifically designed for autonomous vehicles. The imaging sensors feature new chip technology with high dynamic range. The radar system has been optimized to improve the field of view, especially for close range detection around the vehicle perimeter. 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.
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 faster learning. It can process sensor inputs
faster and react more quickly to the surrounding environment. All
computing system power is now drawn from the vehicle’s hybrid battery
with the 12v battery now serving only as a backup.
Toyota Mobility Foundation Unveils Five Visions for the Future of Mobility at CES
The five finalists in the
three-year Mobility Unlimited Challenge have been unveiled at CES in
Las Vegas. The Toyota Mobility Foundation launched the $4 million
global challenge in 2017 in partnership with Nesta’s Challenge Prize
Centre, with the aim of improving the lives of millions of people
with lower-limb paralysis.
The five finalists are:
Eighty entries were received from specialist teams in 28 countries globally. The finalists were chosen by a panel of expert judges including:
Dr. Eric Krotkov, Chief Science Officer at Toyota Research Institute and one of the judges of the Challenge, stated: “There are so many technological opportunities to explore approaches to alleviate challenges stemming from lower-limb paralysis. A competition like the Mobility Unlimited Challenge gets innovators to focus on the same problem to identify something of great common interest that serves society. I am excited by these finalists who have a breadth of technical approaches - wheelchairs, orthotics, braces, exoskeletons. I look forward to seeing how they will take these devices out of their conceptual stage to help our end users.”
In addition to the $500,000 grant, the finalists will attend tailored workshops, receive mentoring opportunities with engineering experts, and collaborate with end users to further the development of their concepts through to 2020.
Ryan Klem, Director of Programs for Toyota Mobility Foundation commented: “These five finalists have shown real innovation driven by human-centered design. We think that the technology incorporated in these devices could change the lives of a huge number of people around the world, not just for people with lower-limb paralysis, but also those with a wider range of mobility needs. It will be fascinating to follow the teams’ journeys and see how the $500,000 grant will help them develop their ideas to bring to market and get them into users’ hands.”
To ensure entries from organizations of all sizes, the Challenge also offered ten teams seed funding in the form of $50,000 Discovery Award grants during the entry period. Of the ten Discovery Award winners, four went on to be selected as finalists.
Charlotte Macken of Nesta’s Challenge Prize Centre said: “Current personal mobility devices are often unable to fully meet the needs of users due to limitations affecting functionality and usability. Historically, the pace of innovation is slow, due to small and fragmented markets and difficulties in getting new technology funded by health-care systems and insurers. This can make the field unattractive to the very people who could help change the world. We hope that challenges like this can inspire innovation and are excited to see how the five finalists use this opportunity to develop their ideas further.”
Around the world, millions of people are living with lower-limb paralysis (the most common causes being strokes, spinal cord injury and multiple sclerosis). While there are no statistics on paralysis worldwide, the World Health Organization estimates there are 250,000-500,000 new cases of spinal cord injury globally every year.