Toyota to launch advanced driving support system using automated driving technologies in mid-2010s; new pedestrian safety system
Toyota Motor Corporation has developed a next-generation advanced driving support system—Automated Highway Driving Assist (AHDA)—which uses automated driving technologies to support safer highway driving.
AHDA links two automated driving technologies to support safer driving and reduce driver workload: Cooperative-adaptive Cruise Control, which wirelessly communicates with preceding vehicles to maintain a safe distance; and Lane Trace Control, which aids steering to keep the vehicle on an optimal driving line within the lane.
Cooperative-adaptive Cruise Control. In contrast to standard radar cruise control (which uses millimeter-wave radar to detect other vehicles), Cooperative-adaptive Cruise Control uses 700-MHz band vehicle-to-vehicle ITS communications to transmit acceleration and deceleration data of preceding vehicles so that following vehicles can adjust their speeds accordingly to better maintain inter-vehicle distance. By reducing unnecessary acceleration and deceleration, the system improves fuel efficiency and helps reduce traffic congestion.
Lane Trace Control. Lane Trace Control, which features completely new Toyota automated driving technologies, employs high-performance cameras, millimeter-wave radar and control software to enable an optimal and smooth driving line at all speeds. The system adjusts the vehicle’s steering angle, driving torque and braking force when necessary to maintain the optimal line within the lane.
Toyota says that it recognizes the importance of the driver being in ultimate control of a vehicle and is therefore aiming to introduce AHDA and other advanced driving support systems so that the driver maintains control and the fun-to-drive aspect of controlling a vehicle is not compromised. Toyota plans to market the newly developed AHDA in the mid-2010s and other driving support systems as soon as possible to provide safe and secure means of transportation.
Ahead of trials on the Shuto Expressway near the Tokyo metropolitan area starting 15 October, Toyota will exhibit AHDA at the 20th Intelligent Transport Systems World Congress Tokyo 2013, an international conference for intelligent transport systems (ITS), to be held from 14-18 October.
In addition, to enable prompt market introduction of next-generation driving support systems, Toyota will make use of the component technologies and know-how acquired through automated driving research conducted with the advanced active safety research vehicle unveiled at the 2013 International CES in Nevada, United States in January this year.
At that event, Toyota displayed an advanced active safety research vehicle—a test vehicle for automated driving technologies that Toyota is researching under its Integrated Safety Management Concept. Based on the Lexus LS, the vehicle is being used in research at the Toyota Research Institute of North America in Saline, Michigan, and is capable of autonomous driving.
It is fitted with forward-looking cameras to detect traffic signals, as well as front-mounted sensors to detect vehicles, pedestrians, and obstacles to determine traffic conditions, such as intersections and merging traffic lanes, in the vehicle’s vicinity. Such research on various elemental technologies is aimed to help drivers choose the safest routes possible.
Toyota has been researching automated driving technologies since the second half of the 1990s, and has been conducting public road tests in the US for a number of years. Within Japan, Toyota has been testing its next-generation Intelligent Driver-support System on public roads for approximately two years.
New pedestrian safety system. Toyota also has developed a Pre-collision System (PCS) that uses automatic steering in addition to increased pre-collision braking force and automatic braking to help prevent collisions with pedestrians.
The new PCS with Pedestrian-avoidance Steer Assist can help prevent collisions in cases where automatic braking alone is not sufficient, such as when the vehicle is travelling too fast or a pedestrian suddenly steps into the vehicle’s path. An on-board sensor detects pedestrians and issues a visual alert on the dashboard immediately in front of the driver if the system determines that there is a risk of collision.
If the likelihood of a collision increases, the system issues an audio and visual alarm to encourage the driver to take evasive action, and the increased pre-collision braking force and automatic braking functions are activated. If the system determines that a collision cannot be avoided by braking alone and there is sufficient room for avoidance, steer assist is activated to steer the vehicle away from the pedestrian.
Last year, Toyota developed a system that uses increased pre-collision braking force and automatic braking to help prevent collisions with pedestrians. The system, which was adopted on the Lexus LS, warns the driver when it detects a potential collision with a pedestrian or obstacle. If the driver does not take action to avoid the collision, the system activates.
TMC aims to make PCS (Pedestrian-avoidance with no steer assist) more affordable and roll it out by 2015 on a wider range of vehicles, before introducing PCS with Pedestrian-avoidance Steer Assist.