Toyota Research Institute and GoMentum Station partner on testing autonomous vehicles in hazardous driving scenarios
Toyota Research Institute (TRI) has signed an agreement with GoMentum Station to test autonomous vehicle technology at the 5,000-acre autonomous vehicle proving grounds located in Concord, California. Managed by the Contra Costa Transportation Authority (CCTA), this partnership enables TRI to expand closed course testing of its two-prong approach to vehicle automation: Guardian and Chauffeur.
Established in 2015, TRI has made rapid advancements in its research into automated driving and recently demonstrated Platform 2.1, its new advanced safety research vehicle that allows for testing of both Guardian and Chauffeur in a single vehicle. (Earlier post, earlier post.)
In the Guardian approach, the human driver maintains vehicle control, and the automated driving system operates in the background, monitoring for potential crash situations. It can intervene to protect vehicle occupants when needed.
Chauffeur is TRI’s version of full vehicle autonomy where all occupants are passengers as the car drives itself.
Both approaches use the same technology stack of sensors and cameras. TRI’s vision is to offer drivers a choice by making vehicles safer and driving both more fun and convenient.
TRI will use GoMentum Station for further testing of Platform 2.1, which includes a new high-fidelity LiDAR system from Luminar that provides a longer sensing range, a much denser point cloud to better detect positions of three-dimensional objects, and a field of view that is dynamically configurable.
With proximity to TRI research headquarters located in Los Altos, Calif., GoMentum Station augments TRI’s public road testing with testing of extreme driving events that are unsafe to conduct on public roads.
GoMentum’s varied terrain, and real-life infrastructure including roads, bridges, tunnels, intersections and parking lots provide the environment needed to accelerate testing of the “difficult miles” needed to advance both Guardian and Chauffeur.
The addition of GoMentum Station to TRI’s arsenal of automated vehicle test locations allows us to create hazardous driving scenarios for advancing capabilities of both Guardian and Chauffeur and further develop our technology.—Ryan Eustice, TRI vice president of autonomous driving
Toyota Research Institute is a wholly owned subsidiary of Toyota Motor North America under the direction of Dr. Gill Pratt. The company, established in 2015, aims to strengthen Toyota’s research structure and has four initial mandates: 1) enhance the safety of automobiles; 2) increase access to cars to those who otherwise cannot drive; 3) translate Toyota’s expertise in creating products for outdoor mobility into products for indoor mobility; and 4) accelerate scientific discovery by applying techniques from artificial intelligence and machine learning.