With the Consumer Electronics Show fast approaching, the Toyota Research Institute (TRI) is poised to reveal their new development on automated driving tech that will set the standard for future autonomous driving. Dubbed the ‘Platform 3.0’, the new tech is built upon a Lexus LS600h as a base vehicle with an array of new equipment that elevates the sophistication of Toyota’s autonomous tech.
Having core goals such as to elevate perception capabilities, to blend sensors with existing designs with proper flow and aesthetic appeal, and to package this tech in such a way that will be easy to mass produce, Toyota is clearly looking at refining autonomous tech to a level that will allow for its seamless transition into modern automobiles.
As far as hardware goes, Platform 3.0 builds upon Toyota’s current perception technology by having a Luminar LIDAR system that not only tracks 200 meters of forward direction, but now also covers a whole 360 degree range around the vehicle. Four high-resolution LIDAR scanning heads allow Platform 3.0 to see everything around the vehicle – even the darkest of objects.
In a bid to make this vehicle aesthetically pleasing, TRI makes use of the LS600h’s sunroof to build a weatherproof housing for the sensors. Considering it’s built into where the sunroof supposedly will go, the sensors are somewhat tucked into the roofline – much more than the conventional spinning bucket sensors that we’ve associated with autonomous vehicles.
As for production, it appears Toyota has plans to produce Platform 3.0 in limited numbers. The Prototype Development Center at TMNA R&D headquarters in York Township, Michigan will produce the tech in limited volume for stock Lexus LS models. Production numbers will be kept low as Toyota wants to constantly update the tech even once it comes out as autonomous tech development is progressing at a rapid pace.
Expect to see a production version of Platform 3.0 on a Lexus LS sometime this spring.