When we talk about autonomous driving, these systems are usually developed by manufacturers for use on public roads. But apparently, Toyota is doing something different. They are making an AI-based system that will show you how to drive properly on the race track.
The company's AI research specialists, the Toyota Research Institute, calls it the Driving Sensei. It's basically a physics-derived controller that makes use of the tires' friction circle. The target cornering line and speed are set, then the AI does its job by giving the optimal steering, throttle, and brake inputs.
To show how advanced it is, the AI system was compared to the inputs of Toyota Gazoo Racing WRC's team principal and former rally driver Jari-Matti Latvala, who was also involved in the development of the Driving Sensei. An onboard telemetry system allows actual drivers to compare their inputs with that of the AI system and hone their skills on the track even further.
Toyota fitted the system to a GR Yaris with an 8-speed automatic transmission. Currently, the 8-speed AT is still under development, but the manufacturer is looking at introducing the slushbox for series production.
When it comes to the Driving Sensei system, however, that may still be in a few years' time. But given that autonomous driving is now being utilized for track use, the time may come to ditch Gran Turismo altogether and have a 5-lap single race with AI opponents in real life.