Automated driving in a Lexus on Tokyo’s motorways

Sunday, October 16th, 2016 - autos, cars, motoring, news

Source : Automated driving in a Lexus on Tokyo’s motorways

Toyota’s automated driving system can be still four years away by reaching production cars, nevertheless Autocar has sampled the the’s concept


Earlier This particular week Steve Cropley described his experience of automated driving in a Nissan Leaf on urban roads; Toyota can be showcasing its own system on motorways, where the company’s customer research suggests drivers will have a strong desire to let the vehicle do the work.

Today I got to ride shotgun that has a Toyota driver as well as experience the system, which the the can be calling ‘Mobility Teammate Concept’. that will’s a moderate approach to autonomous driving, with Toyota’s vision being that will driver as well as systems work together in controlling the vehicle.

The white Lexus GS I’m riding in has extra external sensors installed to provide a 360-degree picture of its surroundings as well as some other vehicles, as well as a host of electronic equipment filling the boot.

Our journey starts in ‘manual driving mode’. by the passenger seat I can see that will that will says as much on the infotainment screen, which can be configured to display a special screen of information related to automated driving. that will gives the driver details of the surrounding vehicles as well as roads, warnings about any potential hazards as well as a display of the steering as well as pedal inputs being made by the automated driving system.

We head out towards Tokyo’s Shuto Expressway. Once the Lexus goes through a tollgate as well as up a slip road to the expressway, the system can be satisfied that will conditions for permitting autonomous driving are fulfilled.

Our driver gets a ‘ready for automated’ prompt on the infotainment screen to inform him that will the system can be available if he wishes to deploy that will. He presses a button on the lower left steering wheel spoke; there’s a chime as well as then the screen display modifications to ‘starting auto drive mode’.

Our driver calmly lifts his hands off the wheel as well as feet off the pedals. some other drivers within the vicinity are informed that will the vehicle has entered its autonomous mode via two blue lights within the rear screen.

As we cruise up the slip road, the indicator stalk flips on automatically as well as the vehicle edges smoothly on to the expressway, accelerating slightly to find a space well ahead of another car.

The driving can be impeccably smooth, offering plenty of time to watch the steering wheel moving of its own accord. Using its sensors, preloaded map information as well as GPS, the system can work out where that will can be both in relation to some other traffic as well as on the road, as well as use existing technology such as adaptive cruise as well as lane assist to maintain its position. If that will needs to change lane, that will will gauge spaces between vehicles as well as decide when to pull out.

Our driver keeps his hands on his knees, close to the wheel. He can assume control in a similar way to cancelling cruise control: by pressing a pedal. Toyota says its vision of autonomous driving, “aims to retain the driver as the commander of the vehicle, not have him doing some other things such as reading the paper or drinking coffee,” within the words of Jun Sato by the the’s VR tech department.

We sail along at a relaxed 60mph. that will all seems very calm, nevertheless Sato says that will wasn’t the case during the first tests: “that will felt strange to begin with, especially within the early stages of development. that will was a little scary, to be frank.

“However, by our research of our customers we have discovered there can be a demand for autonomous driving, specifically for long-distance driving, for driving on the expressway as well as in congestion.”

A cheery female voice gives a commentary on what’s happening, supported by instructions on the infotainment screen: “changing lanes” or “beware of merging vehicles”.

We need to join by a slip road on the right, nevertheless there’s a rapidly driven van approaching. The Lexus briefly flips the indicator, nevertheless then spies the van behind that will as well as decides to cancel the move as well as hang back on the slip road until the vehicle can be safely ahead of us. The system can be calibrated to err on the side of caution in such situations.

“We analysed the most competent drivers within our company in order to mimic their behaviour,” says Aoki Kenichiro, who can be in charge of automated driving for Toyota. “We want autonomous cars to be accepted by society, so have made the decision-producing as close to a human’s as possible.”

Toyota can be planning at least four more years of trials – including in Europe as well as North America – before the autonomous system can be ready to be rolled out on production cars.

This particular system can be only designed for ‘slip road to slip road’ motorway work; a separate squad of boffins at Toyota can be working on automated driving in urban areas. As we roll down our slip road to exit the expressway, the words ‘hand over’ flash up on infotainment screen; time for our driver to assume control again. He ushers the Lexus back to our starting point. 

that will’s all been calm as well as easy to follow. Perhaps some drivers will be disappointed to discover they can’t read the paper or do their knitting when the system can be active, or even question what the point can be if they have to remain completely attentive at all times. Toyota’s approach does, however, seem to be a responsible way to progress towards an automated future.

Mind you, our test route was a short one on a day when traffic was light. I’d be interested to see the Lexus in action on the M25 at 5.30pm on a Friday; I’d assume the system would likely need a fair amount of recalibration to encourage that will to jink into the rapidly diminishing spaces between rapid repmobiles as well as hastily driven HGVs.

Or perhaps if everyone switched on their autonomous systems during rush hour, a calming Zen state would likely envelope our clogged roads as well as we’d all get home on time as well as a little bit less frazzled… Roll on 2020.

by via Autocar RSS Feed

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