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Toyota to offer rides in SAE Level-4 automated vehicles on public roads in Japan next summer

Toyota Research Institute (TRI) announced that its Platform 4 (P4) automated driving test vehicle (earlier post) will be available for public demonstration rides next summer in Tokyo. Offered from July to September 2020, the P4 will demonstrate Toyota’s “Chauffeur” SAE Level-4 capabilities in a specific “mobility as a service” (MaaS) driving environment.


The P4 experience will take place in Tokyo’s Odaiba district, a busy and often congested waterfront subcenter. Odaiba’s complex environment of pedestrians, vehicle traffic, diverse road infrastructure and tall glass buildings provide a challenging setting in which to demonstrate the capabilities of Toyota’s automated driving technology.

The public will be invited to register for the experience, and individuals will be selected to participate. In accordance with Japanese law, a Safety Driver will be present during the experience.

By challenging ourselves to successfully operate autonomously in Odaiba, we have set a high bar that requires us to rapidly expand the capabilities of our technology in a short amount of time. To accomplish that, we are working closely with the Advanced R&D Division of Toyota Motor Corporation and Toyota Research Institute-Advanced Development (TRI-AD) based in Tokyo, who is responsible for bringing the P4’s automated driving software to the public.

—TRI CEO Gill Pratt

TRI has been testing the P4 in the United States at its Ottawa Lake, Mich. closed-course test facility. There, TRI replicated Odaiba’s most challenging infrastructure characteristics and driving scenarios for which the P4 will have to navigate autonomously. Further testing of P4 software is being conducted on public roads in Odaiba and around TRI’s Ann Arbor, Mich. and Los Altos, Calif. research offices.

Introduced at CES 2019, the P4 test vehicle is based on the fifth-generation Lexus LS sedan. It is being used in TRI’s research and development of both “Toyota Guardian” active safety and “Chauffeur” automated driving applications.



Interesting P4 (and P5) ADV projects by Toyota. If sucessful, this could lead to early P5 ADVs for taxis, shared e-mini-buses etc.

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