Toyota has been dabbling in autonomous cars for a while now, using an older generation Lexus sedan as its test mule for the Toyota Research Institute (TRI). Now, the company is all set to show off its latest iteration of self-driving technology at the Consumer Electronics Show 2018, set to commence next week. While the new self-drive platform may not look too different from the TRI Platform 2.0, it adds a host of new optimisations and functionalities, all of which are crucial in the evolution of autonomous technology.
The Platform 3.0 of TRI will now incorporate 360-degree Luminar lidar array, which can scan the entire surroundings of the car up to 200 metres. Along with the long range lidar, there are short range lidars in place to detect smaller obstacles. While the long range lidars will be used to detect the overall surroundings and measure trajectories of motion, the smaller range lidars will help optimise the drive and ride quality by recognising potholes, road debris and small obstacles. The Platform 3.0 still uses the Nvidia Drive PX 2 platform to process the entire data, which is a proficient enough choice.
Along with the new technologies, Toyota is focusing a lot on the overall design of such heavily equipped cars to facilitate these technologies entering production. The new car neatly tucks in most of the hardware under its panels, and only has a top panel that resembles a slim luggage box to tuck in the host of sensors and cameras. Even the boot has been redesigned, and all the wiring have been tucked into a suave box sitting in the middle of the trunk. The Platform 3.0 cars will still include the dual-cockpit mode to exhibit the two driving modes - Chauffeur and Guardian. While the car will control most of the elements in Chauffeur mode and relegate you to the role of a relaxed passenger, the Guardian mode will work as an assistant to optimise your ride/drive experience.
Toyota will bring the Platform 3.0 into production by Spring 2018, which makes this unveiling at CES 2018 even more relevant. We will be at CES 2018 to bring you the best exhibits from the show floor, of which Toyota will now be one of the biggest ones.