Toyota expands Collaborative Safety Research Center with $35M; focus on transition to automated vehicle and connected vehicle technologies
With a new $35-million commitment that extends the center’s effort to the 2020s, Toyota’s Collaborative Safety Research Center (CSRC) is significantly expanding its mission to advance automotive safety research, with a new focus on the challenges and opportunities that evolving vehicle technologies will present over the next decade. CSRC will concentrate on supporting a safe transition to the future of mobility, particularly through emerging automated- and connected-vehicle technologies.
The CSRC was formed in January 2011 with three charter members; the first phase of research will conclude in 2016. Research under the new mission will focus on: developing human/machine interface (HMI) guidelines for next-generation automated and connected vehicle systems; the optimal user skills to operate these technologies safely; and the challenges posed by a US vehicle fleet that will likely feature automated and connected vehicles, as well as traditional ones, traveling the same roads.
As part of this effort, researchers intend to explore the complex relationship between future mobility and broader social trends, such as the growth of networked “Smart Homes” and the so-called “Quantified Self” associated with the rise in wearable devices.
Osamu Nagata, President and CEO of Toyota Motor Engineering and Manufacturing North America, Inc. (TEMA), made the announcement at Toyota’s 2014 Advanced Safety Seminar in Ann Arbor, Mich.
CSRC’s newly expanded mission recognizes that the emergence of advanced technologies is radically reshaping the transportation landscape. Thanks to these exciting automated and connected vehicle technologies, drivers and their vehicles are increasingly working together as teammates and sharing more responsibilities on the road. We hope to help pave the way for the safe introduction of these new systems, not only by refining the technologies, but also by preparing the drivers who will be using them—with the continued goal of saving lives.—Chuck Gulash, Director of CSRC
CSRC partners with leading institutions across North America to help advance safer and more responsible ways of moving people and then sharing the results. Since 2011, the Center has focused its research on active safety; driver distraction; and at-risk traffic populations—including children, teens, pedestrians and seniors—to better understand how to help protect people in crashes and prevent collisions from happening at all.
Over the last three years, CSRC has launched 34 research projects with 17 partner institutions, including The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia; George Washington University; MIT Age Lab; Ohio State University; Stanford University; Transportation Active Safety Institute; UC San Diego; University of Iowa; University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute; University of Toronto; University of Virginia; Virginia Tech; Virginia Tech Transportation Institute; Washtenaw Area Transportation Study; Wake Forest University School of Medicine; Wayne State University School of Medicine; and Indiana University-Purdue.
To date, the Center has completed seven and made significant advances in the areas of human factors, active safety, biomechanics and Big Data, including:
Developing standardized test procedures for vehicle and pedestrian pre-collision systems, including the worlds-first articulated mannequin that shares the same radar cross-section as a human, enabling regulators and consumers to measure and compare performance across multiple makes and models;
Conducting a comprehensive scientific study of the potential safety benefits provided by advanced driving technologies, such as pre-collision (PCS) and lane-departure warning (LDW) systems;
Building on studies examining the changes in physiology and seatbelt fit with age, taking body-scans of a broad range of age and body types and highlighting the continuous need for public education about the importance of proper seatbelt use;
Creating a human body finite element models of a child so that engineers can account for differences in child body characteristics when designing vehicle safety systems; and
Developing high speed tools to organize, process and analyze petabytes of naturalistic driving data (known as the Strategic Highway Research Program 2, or SHRP2) and making the tools available to all auto manufactures, suppliers, transportation agencies and research universities that share the goal of better understanding how to prevent crashes in the future.