Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) and its Lexus Division unveiled its Lexus LS based advanced active safety research vehicle for the first time at the International Consumer Electronic Show (CES) to demonstrate ongoing efforts around automated vehicle safety technologies and explain Toyota's approach to reducing global traffic fatalities and injuries.
The Lexus LS based research vehicle is equipped with an array of sensors like GPS, stereo cameras, radar and Light Detection and Ranging (LIDAR) laser trackers to observe, process, and respond to the vehicle's surrounding.
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 necessarily 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 research vehicle is a testing platform aimed at the development of systems capable of enhancing the driver's perception of his or her environment, assisting in the decision-making process and improving overall driving skills.
"In our pursuit of developing more advanced automated technologies, we believe the driver must be fully engaged," said Mark Templin, Toyota group vice president and general manger of the Lexus Division."For Toyota and Lexus, a driverless car is just a part of the story. Our vision is a car equipped with an intelligent, always-attentive co-pilot whose skills contribute to safer driving."