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Toyota unveils latest road-safety tech

2014-09-10 09:34

SAFER DRIVING: Toyota has demonstrated its latest self-driving (autonomous) car ahead of a vehicle technology congress in Michigan, US. Image: Toyota

  • Toyota systems revealed at seminar
  • Automated highway driving assistance
  • New laser obstacle-detection system

ANN ARBOR, Michigan - Lasers that can track objects on the road, day or night; 3D info displays that transform the way traffic information is delivered to drivers; an advanced driving support system that will be on the road within the next few years.

These are the highlights of an innovation programme revealed at the fourth Toyota Annual Advanced Safety Seminar in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

'ROADS WITHOUT DEATHS'

The seminar, hosted ahead of Toyota’s participation an Intelligent Transport Systems World Congress in Detroit, provides an early insight into the company’s latest safety research and development and the progress it is making in securing safer road mobility.

Seigo Kuzumaki, Toyota’s chief safety technology officer, explained: “Toyota’s vision is of a world without road deaths; these advanced connected and automated vehicle technologies have the potential to revolutionise automotive safety.

“We are committed to bringing advanced active safety systems to market as quickly as possible and making them accessible to a broad range of drivers.”

Toyota’s AHDA system, first shown in 2013 in Japan, is designed to work with the driver to achieve safe car control. The latest version, unveiled at the Ann Arbor seminar and to be shown at the ITS congress, has been programmed according to real-world traffic conditions in the USA and can operate at speeds up to130km/h.

AHDA integrates three core technologies:

  • Dynamic radar cruise control
  • Lane trace control (lane-keeping)
  • Predictive and rnteractive human-machine interface

These support the driver by keeping the vehicle to its lane and a safe distance from others in the same lane while travelling at cruising speeds. The HMI promotes the driver's engagement, warning when the system is going to disengage and monitoring the driver’s level of attention on the road.

WARNINGS TO DRIVER

Dynamic radar cruise control maintains not only speed but also a safe following distance, while 'lane trace' keeps the car safely within its lane by tracking the white broken or solid lines and adjusting the steering

Interactive HMI works with both the above to make driving safer and more comfortable by giving the driver warnings when only limited automated system support can be expected. It makes its predictions on the basis of the lay-out/geometry of the road ahead and historical sensor performance.

These predictions are intelligently generated so they apply specifically to the traffic lane in which the vehicle is travelling. It is able to make lane-specific predictions by combining data from an enhanced map, an automotive-grade GPS receiver, and cameras and radar.

Toyota plans to market the technologie within the next few years.

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